Monday, April 29, 2013

People With No Names: The Undocumented # 115

                                   I came to put food in my mouth.....I put food in your mouth.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Why I Paint What I Paint

This is an 8"x10" red iron oxide and chalk on canvas of a young boy who I encountered in a  Nogales, Mexico apartment for recently deported women and children.  This morning I was walking and listening to a radio story about Afghanistan.  As the United States is winding down their presence in that country, the military spokesman said that they have learned about "bottom up diplomacy".  He went on to define "bottom up diplomacy" as things like building schools and taking the time to meet and talk to village elders in remote places.  He talked about approaching people in "their way...slowly", and he said that "to change hearts and minds" takes time. I want to be a nation and a person who practices "bottom up diplomacy".

Saturday, April 6, 2013

People With No Names: The Undocumented # 114

This is acrylic on canvas 12" x 30".  A little over a week ago it was Holy Thursday when priests all over the world washed people's feet in a re-enactment of The Last Supper.  In fact,  our new pope washed feet at a juvenile detention center in Rome and EVEN the feet of several women!  I started thinking about all of the immigrants walking up to the United States and that verse from Isaiah, (that is repeated in Romans), "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news...".  Here in the Sonoran Desert,  people actually have to walk over rugged mountain terrain to enter the U.S. What 'good news' can they possibly be bringing to us?  Well it turns out there is a 'Barrio Effect' that immigrants bring with them.  It is an actual, medically documented fact that people who live in poor Latino neighborhoods are healthier than our own homegrown poor people.  Infant mortality rate is lower, neighborhoods really matter, they have access to traditional foods (which are prepared from scratch), extended family members live nearby or with each other.  There is ethnic and racial pride.  As was expressed in the Broadway musical "Porgy and Bess", "I've got plenty of nothing, and nothings plenty for me".  Ethnic enclaves share struggles, and that social life actually causes biological changes in the body and lowers stress.  In our terrifically independent lives, our newest societal members, maybe, have something to teach us.  We may be 'connected' by our abundance of social media, but we sure aren't preparing meals, touching, talking and living together.