Together!

Last week I saw a message posted on Facebook claiming that Muslim parents at a Maryborough School in Australia (unclear whether in Queensland or Victoria) had demanded that pork be removed from the schools’ menu along with a strident response from a council official.  It was a hoax, originally perpetuated in Belgium, then re-phrased in various countries to reflect the local circumstances.

I saw people up in arms and indignant about this so-called demand, with no effort made to check whether it was true or not. I saw something similar a while back which claimed to have been written by the Prime Minister of Canada/Australian Prime Minster Rudd and Prime Minister Gillard. So easy to believe the worst of those of Islamic faith without bothering to check the truth.

These circulars are written by hateful people trying to stir discord and prejudice, which is disgraceful in itself. But just as sad is the fact that people rise to the bait and circulate these hoaxes without even bothering to check facts, because it appeals to their prejudices. Even worse, when it’s pointed out that these messages are hoaxes, too many people say it accords with their beliefs and won’t delete what are basically lies – just like the lies peddled every day by Trump in the United States.

At a time when all too many are trying to foment divisions between various sections of society, the reality is that together – Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, people with different sexual choices, the poor, the marginalised, the disadvantaged, the middle classes – we are far more powerful than the forces which try to divide and rule.

This sort of hatred and division led to the horrors of the Third Reich, World War 2 and concentration camps. I believe that those of us with good faith, embracing  love, compassion, tolerance and truth can do far better than the hate-mongers. We can speak truth and love, we can hear truth and love, we can live truth and love.

 

The Soul’s Song

 

This is what you should do:
Love the earth and sun and animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants,
argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people…
reexamine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
dismiss what insults your very soul,
and your flesh shall become a great poem.

~ Walt Whitman ~

 

(Excert from Preface to 1855 edition, Leaves of Grass)

 

Love is All Around

Look to this day
for it is life
the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all
the realities and truths of existence
the joy of growth
the splendor of action
the glory of power.

For yesterday is but a memory
And tomorrow is only a vision.
But today well lived
makes every yesterday a memory
of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day….
 
~ ancient Sanskrit poem ~

 

The Power of Love Rising

I created this from an image of an estuary in an area affected by pollution. I reversed the image and added the colours above to contribute to earth healing from pollution.

And to add to the joy quotient, a clip from the film “Strictly Ballroom” followed by “Love is in the Air”, also used in the movie.

The Rise of Goodness

I created this image to celebrate all those who are standing up for decency and condemning the fascists in the US and their endorsement by the despicable, utterly corrupt Donald Trump.

The events since last weekend have indeed been awful but from bad has come good – so many people have been galvanised to stand up, organise and resist the neo-fascists, while Trump has cooked his goose well and truly with his disgusting endorsement of white supremacy.

So the image above has certain symbology: below are the waters of emotional turmoil but also emotional support for each other. Above are the stars which shower us with grace, love, compassion and optimism. Running through the centre is a river of light, illuminating hope and right action against the forces of evil.

And central is an image of Ganesh, the Indian god. I had intended to use a photo I’d taken in Australia of a spider and its web, to represent Spider Woman spinning a new society. But then I came across the image of Ganesh and it was so apt I decided on that instead.

Ganesh is the destroyer of vanity, selfishness and pride. He is the remover of obstacles and also the symbol of abundance but right abundance – sourced from love and compassion and not profane worship of money. Interestingly, he also places obstacles in the path of those who need to be checked. I thought this was most appropriate in current circumstances.

 

 

In Honour of Heather Heyer, Charlottesville

So much has been written about events in Charlottesville that anything by me would be now superfluous.

Instead, I’ve created this artwork to honour Heather Heyer, who was murdered by a white supremacist who drove his car into anti-fascist demonstrators in Charlottesville. Heather fought for decency, kindness and against injustice.

The eagle in flight represents her courage and steadfastness in standing on the side of the people and the injustices suffered in the community. The rays of light reflect the heritage she has bequeathed of compassion, courage and ongoing struggle and organisation for justice, equality, respect and against the forces of racism and white supremacy.

The bright colours top and bottom reflect the forces of positivity, optimism and determination to fight for a society where people are respected and honoured regardless of their colour, race, sexuality or religion.

We stand in hope because we will not allow the forces of evil and hatred to thrive, we will pull them out by their roots and in their place plant hope, love, kindness and tolerance.