"Scarlet Ibis" - watercolor on paper, 8" x 10"
"Scarlet Ibis 2" - watercolor on paper, 8" x 10"
"Poppy" - watercolor on paper, 11" x 14"
"Isolde and Carmine" - mixed media on crescent board, 15" x 20"
It was a busy week in the studio...inspired by the scarlet ibis. Which, in hindsight, is perhaps exactly the right symbol for the times.
I am not a journalist, social anthropologist, psychologist or detective. I am one tiny snippet of humanity with thoughts.
I think it is human nature to try to make sense of the senseless, to explain the unexplainable. To call it terrorism, homophobia or random gun violence. But the idea that we can neatly label and compartmentalize one act of violence over another is, I believe, an illusion. Because there is no separation between us - we are all interconnected. When one of us hurts, we all hurt.
In my family, we are black, white and Native American. We are Irish, African, Eastern European. We are gay, straight and bi-sexual. We are bi-polar, have attention deficits and depression. We are highly educated and uneducated. We are wealthy and poor. We are religious and atheist and agnostic. We are addicts and athletes. We are elderly and middle-aged and young. We are rape victims, the abused and the abusers. And this is just in our family.
If we could all wear our labels outwardly, like the scarlet ibis wears his brilliant feathers, would we see how similar we all are? Would we find commonality and connection instead of separation and fear? Could we hold each other, help and protect and cherish each other instead of gunning each other down?
Not one of us has the power to fix humanity. And yet I think we all have the power - collectively. For me, Orlando is a wake-up call to be more open and vulnerable, not less. To connect with others, strengthen the ties that bind us and tear down the walls between us. To wear our collective humanity in the open. And to hug more.