Fall 2004 
"Life is bigger than just politics." 
-George W. Bush
Nov. 4, 2004

"Life is not the way it's supposed to be, it's the way it is. The way you cope with it, is what makes the difference." 
-Virginia Satir

"Now is the time. Now is the only time. How we relate to it creates the future...what we do accumulates; the future is the result of what we do right now." 
- Pema Chodron

"Everything is right on time" 
-Sonja Sanchez
I have no answers. My time in Maine this past summer was beautiful but brief. The election was the election. The exhibition at The Pennsylvania Academy was perfect. Life seems to be able to hold itself in a fine balance. I am grateful and humbled. Reality continues to remind me of my humaness.The Fall has been hectic with the exhibition and travel. Georgia is quiet. At night I can hear the lonely whistle of the trains and the sound of the box cars as they crash together down under the viaduct. It was those train sounds that taught me early on that there was a larger world out there; that made me want to leave and discover it.

I listen to Satie. The Gymnopodies. The Gnossiennes. I have a sense that I will get alot of solid undisturbed work done down here. For years, I've worked on paintings until they gave me that familiar sense of "home". To be painting in my childhood home is surreal and puts me into a constant state of awareness of the sensation of "home". I don't have to work toward it, because I am already here, now it is the starting point. It is perfect for beginning again.

I returned to Georgia on the weekend of the annual School of the Americas Watch protest at Ft. Benning, November 20th. It felt good to come home and be surrounded by 10,000 peacemakers. (www.soawne.org/04SOAPhotos/04SOAVigilPhotos.html) This past summer, Bill Clinton, in his dedication speech at the opening ceremony for the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kansas, said, "We have to move the American peoples way of thinking about other people, forward." James Woolsey, former head of the CIA, in an interview with Terry Gross said, "We won't win the war on terrorism by force, we'll win the war on terrorism by convincing the 100's of millions of good Muslims in the world that we are on their side." Clinton said,"If we can prove that freedom breeds respect we can undermine terror." How do we live in such a way that we can go on about our lives mindful of all that is going on in the world, but not shutting down to it or living in fear. Obviously, we need to become as aware as we can become, filtering out the crap from the truth. I ask myself, "What do I think?" I ask, "What is everybody else thinking and why?" How do we live in accordance with our own souls and not become distracted by the events of the world, brainwashed by the media, or whitewashed into apathy. How do we make sense of the world? "It is impossible to make sense of the world except through Art", said Daniel Pinkwater (children's book author/ radio commentator). In a time when we could easily slip into fear and shrink back, Art provides a conduit. For me, as always, Art is a healing process. The whole experience of life, the inner world, the outer world can be encountered and processed in ones Art. And, if one is dealing honestly and openly, with a modicum of awareness, one can experience personal healing through their creative process. (Ah, the wonder of paint!)

But, How can the world , this country, our relationships start to heal? Madeline Albright, speaking on President Bush's foreign policy, said, "You can't fix something if you don't admit that it's wrong". In his speech to the bi-partisan crowd in Kansas, Clinton reiterated, "The whole story of humanity is the story of forming a more perfect union." We must reach out to one another. We must be willing to take chances, to talk to those with whom we differ, to gather with those with whom we agree and see the bigger picture. We all effect one another. Everything we do effects the whole. Debbie Ford (www.debbieford.com) writes, "If we continue to believe that we are different and that the good people are different from the bad, we will be doomed to a life of victimization, separation and isolation. In the world of separatism, our egos must work hard to construct a persona that is better than or different from everyone around us. This persona is our social mask, the face we show the world. Most of us forget that it is just a persona and come to believe that our mask is who we really are. In the separatist worldview, the last thing we want to discover is that we have imperfections as bad as everyone else's...It is the nightmare of the ego to discover that at our core every one of us is created equal." Scientifically, there is no denying that we are all interconnected. Dr. David Simon wrote, "In Quantum physics, when two subatomic particles collide, some energy and information is exchanged. And from that point on, whenever anything changes in one of the particles, it instantaneously has an effect on the other particle. Similarly, whenever we encounter someone or have any kind of relationship, we exchange energy and information with each other, and from that point on we are never the same person. Another way of saying this is that we are forever changed as a result of the encounter."

"When we are willing to journey beyond what we are certain we know, we surrender to what the Buddhists call "beginner's mind"., Ford writes, "Beginner's mind refers to the state of the innocent child, the state of wonder in which we lived before we developed set beliefs about the world. To return to this place of innocence we must relinquish what we know and let go of our judgments and beliefs. We must be willing to live in the uncertainty, in the unknowing of who we are and who God is. It is then that we become open and are able to move out of our heads and into our hearts."

Don't be afraid. Rise in Love. From Heartland. Namaste. Bo 
"and all of it is as it has always been: again , again I turn and find again the things that I have always known: the cool sweet magic of starred night, the huge attentiveness of dark, the slope, the street, the trees, the living silence of the houses waiting...and again, again, in the old house I feel beneath my tread the creak of the old stair, the worn rail, the whitewashed walls, the feel of darkness and the house asleep, and think, "I was a child here; here the stairs, and here was darkness; this was I and here is Time." 
-Thomas Wolfe