Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Embracing Our Differences

A few months back, a fellow artist from my church (and the husband of one of my closet friends) gave me information about an art exhibition contest. It was a theme that I felt held real resonance with how things are today, so I decided to enter. Not too long after, I received in the mail a letter indicating that my work had been one of the one's chosen for the exhibit. Today was the reception :)

My Mom only worked half a day so I could go. My friend from church was going to watch Kyle and Jubilee, but then she had to go to the hospital! I called to find out more about the reception, and realized it really wasn't something that Kyle and Jubilee would sit through. So it looked like I'd have to go alone, but who wants to do that? Then, out of the blue, my Sister in Law Candice texted me about this afternoon and getting together, and a plan was thus born!!! Thank God for Candice, she made the whole thing a wonderful experience.

Without further adieu, I present Embracing Our Differences Long Island.

The art pieces were all blown up to billboard size and were outside, a beautiful, sprawling art exhibit amidst fountains and falling Autumn leaves. It was kind of wonky weather, so the reception was held inside at the art museum, but you could walk around and look at the exhibit before the reception.

Here is where the museum put us. It was supposed to be all outdoors, but they accomodated us very well. It was interesting to be in a museum again... I got to see lots of art that is currently on display (not our exhibit) and they even had refreshments for us!

I had a blast looking around, even at the ceiling!

After we all sat down, they told us to go back outside and watch the performances by the Mahanaim ESL Study Tour Students- two groups who did outstanding dance routines! Click on the last two links to see small youtube tidbits of the dance! :)


More Dance!

There were many people who spoke once we settled back inside, each meaningful and poignant and very integral to the overall ceremony. Here are some of them:

Eleanor Kra, Chairperson, CHDHU

Balbinger Bhogal, Chair, Sikh Studies, Hofstra University

Oliver Mashaka, political refugee

Leonila Romero Gonzalez, member, Las Patronas

This one was particularly meaningful. She was from Mexico and had a translator, but explained what she did that was inspired by her grandmother. In Mexico, a train passes by every day (I think), with migrants on the train. Sometimes they've been on the train for a long time, and they have a long way to go, and often they don't have any food to see them through. So every day, this woman and her family (and often student volunteers) cook rice and rush out to the train to toss the migrants bags of cooked rice and some bread. I can't even explain the gravity of the importance of what these people do... look at the photo I took of the pictures they passed around.

Last, but not least, we were all called up. We were presented tags, ribbons, and plaques when we signed in, and were duly honored and thanked. It was, overall, a wonderful ceremony with moving speakers, and I had a wonderful afternoon with my Sister in Law. I still can't get over seeing my art billboard size, blown up there for all the world to see. My Sister in Law even overheard people speaking about all the entries that there had been, and how many people had tried to be included. I am honored and blessed!

I would love to write more, but am still excited and reeling from the amazing experience...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wake-Up Call

Wake-Up Call

We are the new live tradition
     singin' redemption songs
     with our fake plastic smiles
     and our love in hotel rooms, wallets
in Atlantic City, and hope rusting
     in melted candle wax.  
     Study to show yourself approved, and yet
     we let fathers in cathedrals dribble down
     their particular versions of God's Word.
It is time for a wake-up call.
     Consider it a call to arms, a time
     to reclaim what belongs to the branches
     of the vine.  Where is sanctity anymore?
     It seems lost, floated out on the tide of a new generation.
Progress.  Modernization.  Forward-moving.
     We can buy beer on Sundays now, but can not
     pray in our citadels of education where
     spiritually-derelict children are shooting
     each other.  WAKE UP.
Grow beyond the bake sales and the craft shows and
     go serve the homeless, the addicts, EVERY ONE
     who does not fit your personal standards of 
     righteousness.  God has called us to 
Wake up.  It's a pulpit, not a podium,
     an altar, not a stage,
     a congregation, not an audience...
     hearts, for God's sake!  HEARTS;
     not pockets.  The world is naked
and starving for just a touch from the Lord,
     but we can be too caught up in our 
     legalistic versions of holiness
     and how things are supposed to be
     that we can completely miss how they
                           Wake up. 

Friday, October 12, 2012


For this week's Illustration Friday,the topic is "Water." I present my original mixed media illustrated ACEO "Fresh New Morning." Enjoy :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Requiem for Peace

Hello, so after kicking around the idea of posting another of my poems on my blog here, it was Luella who finally convinced me to do so, after she posted some positive praise of me on her own blog. What an unexpected and edifying thing to do! Thank you sincerely, Luella :) So, without further adieu...

Requiem for Peace

Peace wavers, a novelty
     once so important, now a relic
          of times long past.

We were heading to San Francisco
     with flowers in our hair...
          we were hitching to Yasgur's Farm...

but our voices were drown, garbled
     by hash and acid and babies
          born in free love.  Free us,

again, save us from business suits
     and SUVs and knocking down our fellow
          man in order to climb that corporate ladder.

Save us from ourselves.
     What was it we stood for?
          We've become so desensitized to war

that no one seems to care any longer.
     We buy our children their Wiis
          and we attend the Home Owner's meetings

and all that we are affecting now is... nothing.
     Our voice died.  We didn't change anything.
          We gave up and blended in.

Our cause became a movement
     documented by Time Life Music infomercials
          we watch late at night,

in our bathrobes, suburban comfort,
     we sip wine but miss the wind in our long hair,
          the beauty we once represented...

Haight Ashbury and Woodstock,
     just places now, resting in memory's recesses...
          just stories to tell the kids.

We wanted to change the world,
     but the soldiers still aren't home.
          9-11, yellow ribbons tied 'round trees,

mothers crying for sons who died
     way before their time.
          The patriots say it is right to fight for America,

but if we would only stand up and take notice
     of what America does to other countries...
          we might not then be so quick to defend her.

Who is wrong?  Who is right?
     This perpetual fence always separates...
          War and peace.  Right and wrong.

Oil, money, freedom, power...
     What ever happened to us?
          What ever happened to love?

Our love movement melted
     into cute bumper stickers and 
          a historical special on VH1, and

we sat back and let it dissipate.
     We kept smoking the weed but we lost the ideals.
          Why is it that our peace songs

never brought about true change?

Maybe because we stopped singing them.