This morning I was dumbstruck, probably like millions of others who saw the news of the horrific massacre in Las Vegas, NV. Our hearts are broken for these people and their friends and families.
Then I made the mistake of scrolling through the national and international news feed. How do you respond when your responder is overwhelmed? I think we may all be in the same boat.
We recently did a project in Houston, creating art from reclaimed flood debris. It was to auction online, well, the auction part failed, utterly and completely. We are still working the project and will meet our goals, but it was a bummer. It’s easy to fall in to trap of thinking people don’t care, they do, there’s just too much to care about coming at us too fast!
In speaking to several folks, we thought maybe it had to do with this overlapping of crisis, this new normal. It’s like ocean waves are rolling in, one after another. By the time you get your feet set and name the wave, another one crashes over you, and while you’re off balance the undertow takes you down again. It’s hard to see what to do next with saltwater in your eyes.
There seems to be a cumulative effect, like stalactites, just growing layers, weighing everything down. Harvey, Irma, Maria, Jose, wars, civil wars, referendums, protests, tear gas, riots, hunger, shootings, car bombs, terrorism, and on and on. It’s like a fog that rolled in and turned into a wall of concrete.
What can we do? You and me, really, what can we do? As artists, the only thing that makes sense is art. Create, make, squeeze life out of every situation and into every moment. Paint that darn concrete wall of fog!
Paint with bold strokes and don’t let fear stop you, even if your lines are shaky and your voice trembles, claim and reclaim, create and recreate, and let your art serve as whatever it needs to be for whoever needs it.
As scary as the waves are during the storm, especially at night, they won’t last forever.