My art continues to evolve in this time of troubling government resolutions. When I first heard the news on the immigration situation at the border, I was deeply shocked. Even now this is hard for me to write, as the emotions continue to reverberate through my system. That separation of children from their mothers, from their parents, is happening in our America is the most heartbreaking situation I have lived in my lifetime, next to the war in Vietnam.
“It’s very biblical to enforce the law. …throughout the Bible…It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.”
-Sarah Huckabee Sanders 186O
In the quiet hours of the morning, I allowed this emotional reaction to find full expression inside myself, to experience it and let it work its way through my body. I did not want to be held captive by this emotion, but instead wanted to release it and find appropriate commentary via my art for an alternative expression of this emotion.
My art is about accessing emotion so it may be transformed into compassion in a troubling world in the grips of the force of fear, self-protectionism, and insulation.
This is one of my intentions with my art. I will share a little story about myself and my own childhood. This is no doubt one reason for this powerful connection.
This is a drawing of myself and my own Mother. Mother was a hard-working, salt-of-the-earth farm girl, and was not affectionate for the most part, due to her own upbringing and the harshness of the times. A child of 2 immigrants herself, she started country school in Nebraska not speaking English, bringing her little brother in hand.
I was a very different child of different times. One day when I was about 4 or 5, she and I were alone in the house. I played on the linoleum floor at her feet for a quiet, unusual moment while she sat in her little red rocking chair. The house was quiet. I had a thought and a desire. I said to her, “Since Dad and Marvin (my brother) are gone, do you think I could sit in your lap one time?”
She looked at me surprised, thoughtful, and said, “Yes, that will be all right.”
And I did. The closeness was very special and I shall never forget it.
Later I thought how odd that I should have asked to do that. I never again remember sitting in her lap or being hugged or told I was loved, though of course I was. Those were different times, and it was only many years later that it became commonly acceptable to be hugging in public and expressing affection.
But I know the need for touch, for love, for presence of Mother, of parents. We all do. We know it in our hearts, our bodies, and our beings. It is basic to human health and well-being.
I am appalled that we should be at a troubling place where we should even have to say these things,
but we must not be complacent. As Americans we were complacent before the last election and the writing was on the wall. I did vote because I saw this coming, as did many others. We must use our voices, our art, our writing in these troubled times if we are to continue to evolve as truly Human Beings.
The above quote by Sarah Sanders, the American political press secretary, on the immigration separation policy of parents and children, and the justifications by Chief of Staff John Kelly are shocking in our day and age when we thought we had advanced to a level of recognition of the value of all human life.
It is well know that mental disorders and permanent damage occur from such traumatic disruptions to the family bond, as this article from fortune.com Doctors: Trump’s Border Separation Policy Is Causing a ‘Mental Health Crisis’ for Families attests to.
I hope my art will speak for me. Let me know your thoughts.