My bags are packed to leave tomorrow to join my friend Kim Taylor on the road for a few days of music and just plain old, gettin’ the hell outta here. I am a gypsy girl at heart, from constantly being on the move as a kid, to my Navy wife days, to my wanderlust nowadays. Travel, even just a few days here and there, can recharge my spirit in ways no other thing can. The above quote is from an artist named Candy Jernigan, whose book Evidence just arrived in the mail today. One of my amazing students introduced me to her and I love her work as well as her philosophy. Perhaps at the heart of travel is just what Jernigan speaks of; proof that we are really here. Walking in the world.
Death has been at the door a lot lately and so naturally, all of us around here have been pondering mortality quite a bit; our own and that of those closest to us. First Esme, and now, Whitney Smith. I did not know Whit personally, but wish I did. He was held dear by friends of mine whom I hold dear, and that, to me speaks volumes. Read his blog, get to know him, and his story. Esme’s and Whit’s passings don’t hold too very much in common. But two things come to my mind. The first thing is that there are now parents whose lot in life is to go on living in the world without the presence of their children. This is simply not the right order of events in life. We parents are supposed to go first, before our kids. To have borne witness to the grief of my friends in recent weeks and days is an honor and I sincerely hope I have been an adequate vessel to it.
Another, more broad commonality between these two deaths is that both were caused by some glaring glitch in The System. Only time will tell what sorts of ripples the loss of these two people will cause in the world. I will certainly try to keep you posted here as the narrow alleys of Activism are navigated.
So where to from here? Heavy, heavy stuff. And yet, to pack a back-pack with an extra couple of shirts, spare undies and some sandles seems perfectly natural. Hitting the road for a few days, more natural still. Most of what I have packed consists of art supplies. My matte medium is in a 3 oz. airline approved bottle, my pens are advertised not to explode in flight, I have my sketchbook and my camera and some of my favorite books to read. I plan to gather evidence: that the world is still beautiful. that people are still good. that my gathering of this evidence is meaningful and worthwhile. I am hopeful.