I come from a crowd of folks who believed they were of the we’ve always done it this way sort.
Even as a child, I thought that was a bit odd for people who were on a first name basis with the moving guys. I understand it better now, though. You see, I’ve met the Inner Critic.
She’s the one whispering in your ear that things are safe if we lived through them once and, therefore, we should always do them the same way. I’ll bet you’ve met one of her many, many sisters!
It’s not really a bad theory. It just doesn’t do so well if it’s the only theory!
This weekend has been a good example.
It will come as no surprise to most of you that this is a new-ish holiday in my particular part of the universe.
All my generations upon generations of Grandmothers would not know what “we’ve always eaten” for this day. Or which box of decorations to drag out of the basement. Or what to send for cards.
I’m not real sure either, but I’m ready to learn!
So, in between laps around the inside of our house to stretch out my deeply annoying SI Joint, I’ve spent some time wondering.
And, I’ve had some help! You guessed it… paintings! (And, yes, two of those in the photo have made recent appearances but could you really tell them no? Ever, really, but especially now? And they invited a couple of friends!)
If we start to the left, we have, What the World Needs Now, complete with her heart full of love, despite the scar.
Just behind her is a Virgin of Guadalupe, muttering about revisions, especially to the background. She’s headed for a friend’s house when she’s finished.
Up above, my familiar Tree of Life painting with the ancient grandmother and her abundant bowl of water beneath the communal branches and roots and trunks of a banyan tree.
I’m counting on my shoulder deciding to behave soon so I can do some finishing work on the painting of Congressman John Lewis, to the right.
Since I wasn’t quite ready to paint, I decided that I could live without my usual parade of Iron Chef America re-runs. You see, I just figured out where Finding Your Roots moved after the cable fairy’s latest game of messing with my mind. And who was waiting for me there?
John Lewis! I’d seen the episode with him and Senator Cory Booker before but context is, indeed, much of everything so I heard new things tonight.
My favorite part was watching Congressman Lewis learn that his Great Great Great Grandfather, Tobias Carter, registered to vote in 1867, two years after he was freed from slavery and just after the 13th Amendment prohibited depriving anyone of the right to vote based on their race.
Tears ran down Lewis’s cheeks as he marveled to know that 98 years before he was injured and arrested in the march from Selma to Montgomery, his ancestor had registered to vote.
Tears ran down my cheeks, too, as Lewis said:
The vote is the most powerful non-violent tool in a democratic society.
Pens and laptops and paintbrushes do pretty important jobs, too.
So, despite the Critic’s efforts to send her Muse alter-ego on a long vacation, there are some new things coming up around here.
An image that took me about 35 years and 10 minutes to create.
And Camp! Think soothing the Critic…
I promise, no bug spray will be necessary! Stay tuned…
ps… Happy Fathers Day to Bill and Dave and all the very brave dads and grandpas reading this!
pps… the big, fuzzy kid communing with the art is Luther who, in many ways, has lived his own Juneteenth kind of story.
ppps… What the World Needs Now is available for adoption. Since Luther’s not much for email, you can check with me!