Many of us have been on edge: worried about the future and the damage that can be done when a society is desensitized to hate, intolerance, misogyny, corruption, cruelty, and racism. I'm not even talking about political differences and policy here so much as I am about humans sharing our section of the planet with other humans. Those basic concepts that this place was based on: freedom, liberty, justice for all.
I care about my country. It's my home, it's where I live. I want to love it. I want to continue to feel hopeful. But I'll admit I've had a hard time with that lately.
I was finally getting around to adding fabrics to my Etsy shop the other day. Photographing American Beauty and American Dreams, initially I couldn't help feeling an odd, uncomfortable distance from the concept of patriotically themed anything, including my fabrics. Under the guise of patriotism, those who wrap their messages of hate, bigotry and oppression in red, white, and blue had begun to turn me from the very colors - I feel as if I can't separate myself distantly enough from that kind of energy.
But here I was, surrounded by these fabrics, just trying to accomplish a simple task. As I cut samples from every bolt, arranging, photographing, organizing - quiet tasks for a wandering mind - I thought about the names of these collections, and how they represent how I still want to feel about where I live.
I wondered how these concepts can remain in the face of what appears to be my country embracing negativity, isolationism, normalizing hate and revengeful pettiness. Suddenly I stopped what I was doing and grabbed my sketchbook and started to scribble.
And the thought struck me: having gone through what I once would have thought to be the worst possible thing only to come out from the other end stronger and happier with my life than ever before, I guess I can't help not feeling completely devastated about what, to some of us, appears to be the worst possible thing. It might be painful while we're in it, but eventually we get through the shit. We find strength when there's no other choice but to have it. There is incredible strength and power in living in each moment, in facing forward.
Peace and love for the win.