"When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you, a tree, a house, a field, or whatever. Merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you, the exact color and shape."
~ Claude Monet
I go out walking along Lake Michigan. It is the same old place. Over and over I walk but I see different shapes, colors, and people. The things which are familiar changes from real to abstract art. And so it is.
Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher."
~ William Wordsworth
During the Pandemic 2020, I was unable to go to my favorite spot in the Universe which is Lake Michigan. I finally walked in the sand wearing Crocs. I smelled the fresh air. I took a few photographs. I am blessed because there was hardly anyone there the day I went on this photography adventure.
Image #05201806222020 - Cog Railroad Climbing Mt. Washington, White Mountains of New Hampshire
"I am an invisible man. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."
~ Ralph Ellison
This quote I can relate too. I am invisible because I am a woman. I am invisible because I am a man. I am invisible because I am a child, teenager, college student, elderly. I am invisible because I am handicapped. I am invisible because I am blind. I am invisible because I am deaf. I am invisible because I am Jewish, Muslim, Sufi, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran. I am invisible because I am Black, Spanish, American Indian, Oriental, Italian, German, Irish. I am invisible because I am poor, middle class, rich. I am invisible because I am a veteran. Ralph Ellison has a simple answer to all this hate it is "people refuse to see me."
"I think we have to own the fears that we have of each other, and then, in some practical way, some daily way, figure out how to see people differently than the way we were brought up to."
~ Alice Walker
"I cannot alter the past, but the future is very much in my hand."
~ Mary Lydon Simonsen - The Perfect Bride for Mr. Darcy
I am remembering doing the dishes since I was six years old while standing on a homemade stool wearing an apron in a Chicago apartment.
And now, I still do the dishes by hand. I take each plate, each glass, each piece of silverware, each pot, and wash it thanking God that I have so much. I thank God that I have actual running hot and cold water in my kitchen.
I have walked to a nearby well and carried water to be used in a house in Argo, Illinois when I was seven years old. I called her Ma, everyone did. She was babysitting me. I was glad to help her. It felt good to be needed and working and playing.
I heard stories about my dad's childhood. He said he had to prime a water pump in the middle of winter then carry water to the kitchen before having breakfast made by his mother. My dad was the oldest of nine children. His mother had lost a baby girl born before him. My dad became responsible for his siblings at an early age.
My Aunt Opal needed to heat water on a stove and pour it into a metal tub to give a bath to each family member including a guest who was me. I was visiting there for one summer. I am remembering washing my hair with rain water captured for other uses than cooking. I don't have to spend hours making soap and then waiting 4 to 6 weeks for the water to evaporate to use it or gift it. I can go to the store and buy soap already premade.
I am remembering using a dipper in a metal container (which we all used) to wash up and brush my teeth. I am remembering sharing my toothpaste because my cousins had not seen or used the product before. They were using baking soda to keep their teeth white. I am remembering seeing on TV a woman on an Indian reservation hauling water in a tanker truck to nearby neighbors.
I am remembering drinking water from a spring on my grandmother's farm. My grandfather died before I was born. I cupped my hands, captured the spring water and brought it up to my mouth. The spring water tasted so fresh and delicious. I liked the sound and the smell of spring water. I liked finding the spring with my dad.
Times have changed. I was young. Now I am old woman not so wise but adapting. I remember putting my head down on the mesa in Albuquerque, New Mexico before the houses stretched out to the surrounding Sandia Mountains even before the cable car and believed I could hear the ancestors. Soon I will be an ancestor myself. Life has come full circle. And so it is.