I went to a film last night with my wife, Cheri, and our friend, Kimbal. It is a documentary by James Redford called "Paper Tigers". It documents how the faculty and staff of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, deal with the toxic effects of "adverse childhood experiences" in their students. Many of the students come from very dismal circumstances that no child should be subject to, and that you would wish on no one except maybe all of the Republican Presidential contenders. Turns out that everybody getting guns and shooting each other is not the best solution. Rather than punishing and suspending the students for acting out from things that are not their fault, the teachers and administrators tell the kids they love them. The film says that all it takes is at least one caring adult to give a toxic child a chance to end that cycle.
While walking with Cheri this morning, I was pondering how this relates to my work.
It seems like consciousness is a big deal.
At least 1 out of 3 girls at Lincoln High had been sexually abused in some way. Men are doing that to children. Men are doing that to women. I belong to the class of privileged white males. How did it come to be that we thought it was okay to take and do anything that we want? I go to a church that fought hard to defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the Unites States and continues to do so. Really? I've had Grandmothers, a mother, aunts, a sister, sisters-in-law, cousins, a wife, a daughter, nieces, and now grand-daughters in my life, and if I have done anything to any of them to make them think in any way that they are less than men, then I am so ashamed.
I want my work to reflect my awakening. So when you look at all the circles and X's and triangles and boxes in my work, please understand that there is a thought behind each one. There will always be blanks for you to fill in on your own.