Don’t Give Up…

…without a fight.

Have you ever been put in a situation…or put yourself in a situation…where you lose control, completely.  You find yourself cornered/humiliated/vulnerable/speechless?  You lose your voice?  Loud voices are coming at you.  You see mouths moving and eyes wide open.  But, you really don’t hear a word that the voices are projecting.  You want to catch up on the conversation and what is happening, but you are so shocked that you’re NOT SAFE, that you are deemed useless, defenseless and feel only things in your body?  Oh. I’m sweating.  Oh, my heart is pounding.  Oh. Am I going to throw up?  Am I going to cry?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what is going on in a world where this is allowed to happen.  We become enraged when we remember these collective experiences happening historically, in the unbelievable and horrific impacts of colonization and slavery, of racist and immoral conduct in war.  (Presently watching the Netflix series on Vietnam, with my son.  Watch the entire series, beginning with French colonization…see what atrocities happened there.) We are shocked and freaked out when it happens on the world stage in the forum of politics, religion and foreign policy. (I can’t even name all such horrors.)

The strong prey on others.

The privilege of power; whether that is white or big or strong or conservative or educated or rich…the privilege of power is a demon in the face of building relationship or building community or building trust.

The second clutch of sparrows was attacked on the hottest day of summer.  It might have been a Magpie or a Crow.  I wasn’t home to see the events.  The Crow and the Magpie have youngsters to feed…their aggression is without thought for kindness, but for survival.  That’s the difference between human beings and Crows.  We can choose to communicate kindly, even in the face of conflict.  It is our moral imperative to do so.

Mr.  did not give up without a fight.  How do I know this?  Because his feathers show the scars of the attempt to protect his youngsters.  Mr. and Mrs. have grieved at the empty vent these past two days.


I ask myself if I had stayed home from book club, would things have turned out differently.  Maybe not.


Gorilla House LIVE ART: 13/3/13

1. From Neil Ardley’s The Way Things Work, Nuclear Fusion

2. From the book, Moon: Science, History, And Mystery by Stewart Ross, Into orbit

3. From Alan Fletcher’s The Art of Looking Sideways,  “There’s a theory that when you aren’t looking at something, it doesn’t exist.”

It’s been a few weeks since I relied completely on the themes and for me, these ones really worked.  I had purchased a beautiful piece of plywood in a square format before driving down and I just knew that I really loved the panel, the grain and did not wish to lose that texture through the process of creating.  This, I was thinking on the drive.

I was also thinking about circles…light…and colour….but, just that simply.  Some of the Gorilla House crowd ask the question, “Do you think this up on the spot?”  I think that the truth is that artistic rumblings are always going on in an artist’s mind.  Am I wrong?  I know that some mornings I have to get up early just because my mind won’t let me sleep.  Dreams of paintings and different subjects are not uncommon.  So, truthfully, when an artist knows that they are heading to an extreme painting event and will be finished a piece in two hours, I think that some sparks will fire, even at a subconscious level.

I know that I will be painting ‘Ryan’ for a while.  That’s another thing.

Anyway, a slight shift in media and in the end, no text or collage.  Had I written on the piece, it would have included a quote from John O’Donohue’s Anam Cara.  In the end, the image sufficed.  I used chalk pastels and gloss medium…and drew the image in permanent ink.

“You have traveled too fast over false ground;
Now your soul has come to take you back.Take refuge in your senses, open up
To all the small miracles you rushed through.Become inclined to watch the way of rain
When it falls slow and free.

Imitate the habit of twilight,
Taking time to open the well of color
That fostered the brightness of day.

Draw alongside the silence of stone
Until its calmness can claim you.”

Thank you to Morgan, who purchased this piece at auction.  Thank you to William and friends and to Tamara for having the courage.
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Three artists who created wonderful works on March 13, 2013.  William is in the middle.

Three artists who created wonderful works on March 13, 2013. William is in the middle.