How are you doing, in these days of deep challenge? It's a critical season for sharing our resources, telling the truth, working for justice, voting for change in the USA-- and all the ways we can creatively care for each other and our earth. Many people I know are bone tired, grieving, sometimes anxious, and doing their best to respond.
Brave Joy Collective members supported me to make this art as an empowering message for September. (Thank you!) I chose three figures rising up from our common ground, each in their own way, to offer their strongest gifts.
In the spiritual practices I wrote about this Respond image for the Brave Joy Collective, I asked questions like these:
What do you think these three people are doing, and why? What supports them?
If I painted a silhouette portrait of you giving your best in this moment, what shape would you be?
If you were speaking out for something you want to see happen in your community, what would you write or paint on your protest sign? Then where would you carry your sign? *
I took a few post-it notes, and added protest sign options to my Respond art card:
Here's a link to a sign I've carried to local rallies in the past. I'm ready to make another big sign and get out on the streets in my community if Trump denies a free and fair US election or attempts a coup to stay in power. Most days now I'm working on new art, sharing these images I've been given as signs of healing and encouragement.
What would your sign say? Where can you say it?
Our voices, votes, work, faith, intentions, and prayer are so necessary. What's your vision of a better world? We need to see and hear each other-- especially now, in every community and country across the world.
Although we're weary, let's rise up together again today, dear ones, and respond with all our strongest love and offerings. Let's listen for guidance and wisdom as we choose when and how to be and act. Let's stretch ourselves into new territory and courage, while being honest and compassionate about our capacities. And although we are socially distanced to protect each other, let's respond to today's challenges in a connected way, from our common ground.
There really are so many of us building the vibrant, loving world and beloved community we want to live in! I see us choosing brave joy, fierce love, active hope. Our lives and our responses are the signs we carry every day.
* By the way, you might have interpreted that center figure in another way-- and that's terrific! One friend saw a person carrying a box, or a burden. Did you see another alternative? I made the figures intentionally open for different identities and activities, so all of us could make our own choices about who they are and what story they're telling. Flexibility and openness are two superpowers of art!