I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair with a love so vast and shattered it will reach you everywhere.
As artists, we are taught to channel our feelings onto the canvas. If you want to sell your paintings, it’s safer to not talk about your politics. Hide them in your paintings, and hide them well. I paint what’s in my heart with color, texture, and words—hopefully, then, the feelings will transfer from my heart to the canvas. But I have tried this, and I am still bubbling up inside.
I was going to write about painting today. Instead I am writing about emotions.
After last week’s murders at the Tree of Life synagogue, friends reached out to me offering condolences and prayers. I didn’t react like my other Jewish friends. Their offers of prayers and thoughts added flames to my anger. They should feel the same pain I feel. We are all people. Our society, our community, is seriously dangerously messed up. We are living in a broken world. Don’t pray for me. Pray for all of us. And do more than pray, dammit. Speak up. Speak out. Be angry. Be informed. Vote.
I wonder where my anger comes from. I will continue to reflect on that. In the meantime, my heart hurts. It hurts for all of us. I feel rage for all of us. And I feel immense compassion for the families and community that have lost love ones to gun violence, racism, anti-Semitism, and fear of “the other.”
I am working on turning my anger, fear, sorrow and despair back into love. “Be gentle with yourself. Be gentle with others.” That’s what I’ve told myself in quiet moments this week.
I feel vulnerable even saying I got angry. I don’t want to offend anyone. Instead I want to just put it in my art. I will write my emotions into my paintings and then add the appropriate colors: black, white, grey and perhaps a little blue.
But will that help the world?
With gentle love to all,