I need to slash and swipe and rip and adhere in big gestures right now and I lack the medium.
Writing is going, in case your wondering. So is quilting. But maybe an interlude of collage is in order. It’s not as fast as I would like but does come together more quickly than some writing or most quilting.
In SoulCollage circles they recommend an exercise to plumb the meaning of your collaged image. Of course any one image can have many meanings even for the same viewer depending on time and place. But the exercise is a useful one.
Looking at the card, fill in the statement, “I am the one who… “. This harkens back to therapeutic exercises I’ve done over the years — the gestalt process of speaking from various parts of self and Jungian dream work where each object and player in a dream is given voice.
So here goes for the top two (BTW, the silhouettes were made by cutting around the seated black man, so they are three versions of the same figure).
Card with the arch: we are the ones making the steep climb toward the light. The keepers of the faith. The reporters. The prosecutors. The community activists. Even those glued to the television refusing to let the most recent overwhelming mind bending and egregious acts slide by without notice can be credited with making the ascent. Look how steep the stairs!
Card with black man facing forward: I am the one who sees you and sees everyone and bears witness. I am haloed by history and backed by mountain ranges. Light is my friend. I have huge hands, an unflinching gaze, and more humanity than the average dozen people combined. Nothing you say or do has much to do with me. Nothing, really. There was a time I would’ve run for the hills with so much chaos unfolding, but not now. I see you and I see everyone and I bear witness.
I dream of a world where love is the answer…
Thinking of Kihende Wiley’s works of strong beautiful people looking you in the eye, of how Jacob Lawrence painted such big strong hands, and my favorite poem, “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes, which ends with “…I’se still climbin’, And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
Leave it to you, Hazel, to pull the right references out of thin air.
I got no words that could possibly enhance your imagery or what’s already been said here. Grateful; for your gift and Hazel’s amazing comment and quote.
Hazel nailed it. Such power and pain in these works Dee.
In our world. The news tonight yet again was mind bending. Made three or four more cards after this post.