Tuesday, July 04, 2006
The first thing I learned...
Gulf Coast Angel from lot #817.
The first thing I learned from these workshops is that if my heart aches from the devistation around me, I need to find a way to make art. I need to create a container for the sorrow. I need to make it as beautiful as I can, to honor the past and my feelings about the past.
The second thing I learned from this experience is how I want to live, and what I would most like to identify with. If my identity is wrapped up in possessions and my job and if I feel that these things are being threatened then I might act in fear. I might try to build my walls higher to keep out what threatens me (my possessions and my job). The mayor of Jackson, Mississippi carries a gun where ever he goes. The idea of living in this kind of fear, building higher walls and bearing arms is extremely unpleasant to me.
However, if I identify with a community I will care for those in the community. I will not live in fear but rather live bravely and generously, doing what I can for those I care about. The volunteer grandmothers in our workshops embodied this, caring for and helping the younger members of their community, mentoring and sharing what they had. Being able to do what ever a person can to maintain this sense of community seems to create resilience more effectively than having the best possessions or job title. And this is how I want to live, like the volunteer grandmothers in Jackson, Mississippi.