Tag Archives: Courage

Holding On To The Good

I have been thinking again about reining in my time on social media, blogging. I did a post on my other blog Grandmotherly.blog about being over-connected. I just read a post from the Atlantic  by James Hamblin that suggests we do a social media fast every other day to break the addiction. I was thinking of taking a vacation from blogging, which is still an option, but this every other day fast sounds like it would be worth a try.  Otherwise, I have visions of spending the rest of my life glued to my computer and cell phone.

But then there are so many interesting things that I find online from Smithsonian.com, like the West Coast is being invaded by hordes of gelatinous Sea Cucumbers and I have to read about it. Or how about the story of a shriveled human toe, put in a drink called Sourtoe Cocktail in the Yukon, that was stolen then returned. That last one makes me queasy. I am being facetious, but interesting articles about science, nature, quirky comical stuff helps lift my spirits when there is so much bad news.

I have been watching the The Lord of the Rings Trilogy again. We could see it as good triumphs over evil, and maybe too simplistic, but I do find the message inspiring. That even one small person can make a difference in the world. One of the inspiring speeches in the film is by Sam Gamgee to Frodo when Frodo feels despair of ever overcoming all that is against him, all the darkness:

Frodo : I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam : I know.
It’s all wrong
By rights we shouldn’t even be here.
But we are.
It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.
The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger they were,
and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy.
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened.
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass.
A new day will come.
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you.
That meant something.
Even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand.
I know now.
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t.
Because they were holding on to something.

Frodo : What are we holding on to, Sam?

Sam : That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

When the darkness rains down, I must not give up in despair. Have to be courageous and believe in the good in the world. And that even one person can make a difference.

 


Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt words for today: rain/reign/rein. Sam’s Speech ‘Worth Fighting For’ via Richurd on edgestudio.com. Featured image of ‘Aqua Tibia Wilderness Sunrise’ by pdpolena on Wikimedia.

Let Us Not Be Afraid Of Bullies

This week I am posting a lot about the recent election and my reaction to what has happened. I decided to check out Huffington Post Women because I suspected the women who post there would be talking about this. That is where I saw the reference to Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letters. She posted a quote from Sojourner Truth, and if you don’t know who Sojourner Truth is look it up.

“I am not going to die, I’m going home like a shooting star.” —Sojourner Truth

Here is an excerpt of her letter to Hillary Clinton:

A lot of people have been talking about how we need to try to understand how this happened and what’s going on in the minds of the people who voted for Donald Trump. Maybe. Maybe. But maybe let’s leave that to the strategists, to the men in offices who need to run the numbers. It should not be the job of women, of people of color, of queer and trans Americans, to understand who does not consider them human and why, just as it’s not the job of the abused to understand their abuser. It’s quite enough work to know about and bear the hatred of so many. It’s quite enough work to go on living…..

Thank you, Hillary, for bravely taking every shot and standing tall, for weathering assaults from every direction, for telling us that no, this wasn’t politics as we know it, and no, you were not going to let a chronic interrupter with a limited vocabulary of catchphrases stop you from speaking coherently about your dreams for this country. Thank you for 30 years of public service. Thank you for showing our daughters something beautiful to aspire to. Thank you for reminding us what we are capable of when we are focused and ferocious. Thank you for 30 years of that. Thank you for not abandoning us now.

So no, the work isn’t done. It is only beginning. We will stun ourselves with what we are capable of. We will laugh with surprise like kids who finally threw a punch back at the schoolyard bully. We will watch our friends in awe as they step forward and demand more, as they recognize and wield their politicized identities. We will not be governed by fear. We will show our children a different way. We will go home like shooting stars.

I’m proud of you,

Lena

I remember when I was a little girl there was a bully on our street and he took pleasure in terrorizing the little kids. One day he and his buddies had surrounded my best girlfriend’s little sister and they were taunting her. She called out to me to help her. I was very scared too but I am proud to say that the little girl who was me went into that circle of bullies and put my arms around my friend’s sister and escorted her out. The bully became very upset that I did that. He hit me as I walked past him. His mother later explained to a group of us that he had problems and asked for our understanding.
It is important to stand up to bullies. I am afraid now too, kind of like when I was little, and hope that I will again have the courage to walk into that circle with the bully and stand up for the things I believe in. To put my arms around his victims and walk them to safety.

This post is for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G Hill. The prompt for today is “mem.” Featured image of Hillary Clinton speaking at Brown University by Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia.

The escape from Boko Haram #bringbackourgirls

The American University of Nigeria is offering full scholarships to some of the girls who escaped from the Boko Haram. This is a very inspiring article from Smithsonian. Margee Ensign is the President of the university and a very courageous woman and native of my state of California. My heart breaks and I am sickened reading about the suffering of these women.  I am in awe of their spirit. We can not forget them.

 

The escape from Boko Haram #bringbackourgirls.

Invisable Women Artists Revealed

Many women artists have been ignored but, while the world was looking away, they went on creating their art. There is a change in attitude lately, to pay attention to some of these women and give recognition to their work. They are being discovered or re-discovered now when they are in their elder years. There is such a diversity of styles and the materials they use. Their creative spark has not diminished.

I want to write about some of the women artists who I have become of aware of through a blog I subscribe to here in LA. It is the Engage blog which often posts about elder artists and provides links to articles.

Here is a group of artists from a New York Times T Magazine article called Works in Progress which, quote, is ” a very small sampling of the female artists now in their 70s, 80s and 90s we should have known about decades ago.”  This piece includes some videos, of  two of the artists, Judith Bernstein and Rosalyn Drexler.   

This is a post from artfilemagazine.com on Jean Betancourt.  The post has several images of her artwork which I found very interesting and whimsical. One more from the Tate on artist Geta Bratescu.

by Geta Bratescu

by Geta Bratescu

I have done a post on Carmen Herrera in the past which includes some nice videos of her work,  including an interview of her, and more discussion of overlooked women artists through a link to a Hyperallergic essay. Carmen Herrera just had a retrospective show. She recently turned 100. The videos I found on some of the artists adds a depth over viewing 2-dimensional images. In many videos the artist is interviewed and able to speak for their own perspective and the videos include some art  that is not available freely online.

Documenta Kassel by Etel Adman

Documenta Kassel by Etel Adnan

 

Artist Faith Ringgold

Artist Faith Ringgold

16785342960_85a700902a_z Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian at Guggenheim via Jules Antonio on Flickr

Artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Wheatfield by Agnes Denes

Wheatfield by Agnes Denes

by Michelle Stuart

by Michelle Stuart

Dorothea Rockburne  via Netropolitan Artsconversations:

In the video below, the artist Joan Semmel speaks about how she wants her paintings of her older self to express that there should not be shame about being older for women or men. From the T Magazine post: Semmel,…………. is encouraged by the current interest in her — and other older female artists’ work — because, as she puts it, women “are usually buried after about 45 years of age and just disappear completely.” Moreover, she adds, she isn’t just getting older, she is getting better: “I really feel that some of my most powerful work has come in these late years.” 

The continued work of these women artists says that creativity does not have an age limit or expiration date. In my research I found this article from The Guardian by Emine Saner. She interviewed a group of women artists who were over 60 years old. She writes, “I spoke to a number of well-established women artists, and found that age certainly does not seem to have had a detrimental effect on their creativity – indeed, for many, their later years have been among their most productive.”

These women artists embody the essence of creativity and the inextinguishable flame of the human spirit.