Thursday, February 28, 2013

Red in ritual

I am moved by these words in Louise Erdrich's NYTimes Op-Ed, 'Rape on the Reservation:"
"Here in Minneapolis, a growing number of Native American women wear red shawls to powwows to honor survivors of sexual violence. The shawls, a traditional symbol of nurturing, flow toward the earth. The women seem cloaked in blood. People hush. Everyone rises, not only in respect, for we are jolted into personal memories and griefs. Men and children hold hands, acknowledging the outward spiral of the violations women suffer."

It's a sacred dance. A powerful image. Deep. The red speaks. The circle grows.

I've been working on a series of oil pastels inspired by the quote from Aeschylus' Agamemmon which Robert F. Kennedy recited in his speech announcing the assassination of Martin Luther King in Indianapolis, Indiana:

"Even in our sleep,
pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until,
in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

Perhaps, the next drawing in the series will incorporate an allusion to the red shawls . . .

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