The World Tree of Hope & Unity

To honour the courage, hope and unity of all those young people and their supporters standing up, organising and fighting for gun control and the right of young people to an education free of the fear of violence.

Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin’.
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’.

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin’.
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’.

                                                                               – Bob Dylan

We Rise Up. We Protest. We Gather. We March!

We Rise Up. We Protest. We Gather. We March!

In support of those marching and organising for gun control.

And in memory of those young people who have had their lives cut short.

#MeToo Rising

This image reminds me of the explosion of women’s emotional and revolutionary energies in 2017 and entering 2018 – from the refusal to put up with sexist, racist, demeaning treatment to an uprising against the misogyny of Trump and Republican leaders.

As the video below says: We Are the Fire!

 

Still I Rise/Nevertheless She Persisted

This is a tribute to the 98% of black women who voted for Doug Jones in the Alabama election and helped contribute to the defeat of Roy Moore.

Still I Rise

Maya Angelou, 19282014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Solidarity!

“It is in the shelter of each other that people live.” (Anonymous)

“It matters not that someone is born, but what they grow to be.” (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter. Author: J.K. Rowling)

I’ve been absent for a while as I’ve been on what I described to a friend as an existential walkabout on the road less travelled. I felt dog-tired and unmotivated, asking myself every day “What’s it all about?”.  For some reason I felt quite short-circuited, then I had a dream which was just a message – to create art which was healing for the Earth and for its inhabitants.

So here I am back again, feeling far more motivated (thank goodness, I hate it when my MoJo up sticks and vamooses), with the above image which I’ve called “Solidarity”.

In my time away in the wilderness, I’ve wrestled with this whole question of love, violence in society and so much intolerance and hatred. I finally came to the conclusion that I am simply not interested in pathetic excuses for supporting hate and violence. Life’s too short for then negative. That’s the choice and responsibility of those who live in fear, on their knees, happy to see people who are in any way different subjected to violence, abuse and belittlement.

And I call it out as cowardly and craven because those who are happy to embrace intolerance, racial division and hatred never have to face the consequences themselves. They aren’t the 8-year-old kid who was subjected to an attempted lynching by teenagers at his school. They don’t have to worry about being shot out of hand by the police, acting with impunity, for the “crime” of being black or in the wrong place. They don’t get beaten up for being gay or trans-gender. They aren’t black kids in Australia subjected to abuse on the streets and repression by the police, governments and social services.

I am far more interested in those who show love, kindness and respect for people because they have open hearts and are willing to embrace fellow human beings of whatever colour, religious belief, sexual choice or disability because it is this which is our future. I support all those in environmental organisations fighting for the future of Mother Earth.

Living on your feet rather than cowering on your knees takes courage and hope and moral choice for good not evil. Thank god there are so many good people out their in the community of so many countries who inspire hope, optimism and respect!

Detour
 
I took a long time getting here,
much of it wasted on wrong turns,
back roads riddled by ruts.
I had adventures
I never would have known
if I proceeded as the crow flies.
Super highways are so sure
of where they are going:
they arrive too soon.
 
A straight line isn’t always
the shortest distance
between two people.
Sometimes I act as though
I’m heading somewhere else
while, imperceptibly,
I narrow the gap between you and me.
I’m not sure I’ll ever
know the right way, but I don’t mind
getting lost now and then.
Maps don’t know everything.

~ Ruth Feldman ~

 

 

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.