Quote of the Day: We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion. Max de Pree
Every culture expresses themselves through their art, writing, music, dance, rituals, and their food. They develop their own language, sometimes a dialect of a larger spoken language, and sometimes a language only their own clan can understand. People of every nation and tribe learn these things, embed them into their souls, and they know where they belong and who they are. What happens when those expressions of art are torn apart? What happens when a language is silenced? What happens to a people who are forced to end their rituals? What could happen if they were lifted up and honored?
Our community if doing a unique project called Behind the Bricks. People who are inmates at the local jail were invited to create a work of art or writing. These were brought to the Crossing Arts office where local citizens could either chose artwork and write about it, or chose writing and create art to compliment it. These pairings will be displayed at both the jail and the Q Gallery at The Franklin Arts Center in September 2014. I went into the office planning to chose some artwork to write about. I was curious about the writing, so I sat down and grabbed a stack. Many of the writers expressed real and raw emotion. Many were hopeful. Some were bitter. A few had great imagination. One was from a young woman who wrote letters back and forth with her mom. Her mom told her to imagine herself to be anywhere, for instance on Monday, she wrote, “How’s the weather in Aruba?” I almost grabbed that one. Then, I read an essay by a man who describes himself as Anishinabe, first people. He wrote about the Grandmas and Grandpas and how they kept the language and the culture alive, despite the punishments for doing so. They did it in secret. They kept the spirit of their national strong for their children, and children’s children. I thought of the pictures I’d taken on my first big ride with the Biker Chef, up to through the Big Horn Mountains, and a hike to the Medicine Wheel, a place of power and healing.
I printed the pictures and made a “medicine wheel” out of wild rice and placed the photos around it. I attached another piece of tag board at the bottom and put the man’s essay there along with a quote I found by Black Elk and a note from me.
I’m not a great artist, and I think this looks like one of my 4-H projects, but I like it. I like the preservation of the Medicine Wheel on the mountaintop. Historians aren’t sure who made the wheel hundreds of years ago. Many people of various tribes and nations have visited this sacred place and left tokens, said prayers, seen visions, heard voices, and felt the power. I believe it is a place of healing.
My hope is that the people who participated in this project find healing, too. When we have a chance to express our true emotions through our art and are able to tell our stories, we are well on our way to becoming whole. This project is called Behind the Bricks, and it goes Beyond the Bricks, reminding us that those who are there have not disappeared, and that we are all connected and need healing.
Here is the quote I added to my note at the bottom of this display: Everything the power of the world does, is done in a circle. The sky is round, the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls…the sun comes forth and goes down in a circle. The moon does the same…even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were before. The life of man is a circle…and it is in everything where power moves. The words of Black Elk, a Lakota Sioux elder, from the book Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neibardt
And, my note: May you find healing in the power of the Medicine Wheel, the gifts of nature, and the honor of your heritage.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: Where do you go to experience healing?