There’s a perfect stillness in this house. A resting of all the places that will later see activity, development, growth. I need this calm like a desert wanderer needs shelter and green; somehow my little house knows and holds me like a mother would, gentle and strong.
What to say? Good lord and lady but there have been betrayals, haven’t there? Personal and political. Family and State. Driven by greed for money and dominance, a great overwheening, toxic need to be first, best, shiny-est: I watch as the old ship of my family breaks apart over money and the misuse of power, as ten muslim refugee families walk north into Manitoba, seeking refuge from the United States of America.
Honestly, and from the bottom of my breaking heart, I don’t get it. We are not here for this.
I’ve been searching the dry desert for some answers for a long time, as a woman, artist, daughter-sister-mother. I’ve found only questions in the sand – heavy ones that have become increasingly difficult to carry. I’m not going to be useful, I know, if I collect still more questions and carry them farther; I’ve got to figure out how to put them down.
We have daily choices to make now, each one of us. Mine involve full acceptance of the cold bite of reality: not everyone has access to her own decency; many people are broken beyond repair. I catch myself getting pulled into negativity, and delete the articulate, powerful paragraphs I just wrote. I resist the impulse for retail therapy, for numbness fed by alcohol and thoughtlessness, though boy do I feel the pull. I override the dullness I feel when I look at this painting in front of me, and wet my brush to make a change. I value the great beauty of small simple things, and get to work on building the strength and stamina I need to shelter and protect them.
I practise warm human resistance to abusive behaviour, and thank the universe for John Cleese, Meryl Streep, Saturday Night Live, The Netherlands, The brilliant people who made this site, Idle No More, my beautiful mother, my strong smart funny daughter, her courageous and determined director father, my wonderfully kind, generous, gifted companion and Love, all of my marvellously positive, music-hungry students. I thank the heavens for our human ability to make music and art, and to make change.
I read an old book about power versus force and realize that this place we’re in, this climate of despair and abuse is not new. We’ve been here before, and we can stand our ground again.