Monthly Archives: February 2015

Poverty and Beauty, Ugliness and Truth

a tree grows in brooklyn coverA short while ago, I reread this classic novel.  It’s one of the greats.  What surprised me this time around was that amidst the storyline and lyrical prose, its message speaks to the heart of what I’ve been presenting within my blog series, Giving Voice.

Very timely as the quotes I’ve pulled from within its pages read better than anything I could attempt to pen.

Meant to be read as a single ‘blog post’ the following quotes are from “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn” by Betty Smith.

Quote symbolSince her father’s death, Francie had stopped writing about birds and trees and My Impressions.  Because she missed him so, she had taken to writing little stories about him.  She tried to show that, in spite of his shortcomings, he had been a good father and a kindly man.  She had written three such stories which were marked ‘C’ instead of the usual ‘A.’  The fourth came back with a line telling her to remain after school… Continue reading

Tattered and Torn, Loved and Worn

One day, years ago, Amy-next-door came to call. She often came to visit with her two little girls in tow to play with my youngest two kiddos as they were all around the same age. This time, she stood holding two paper grocery bags.

“Look what I found!” Amy said as she thrust the two bags into my arms.

Feeling light as a feather for all their fullness, I immediately knew they were filled to the brim with fabrics.

“I found these at a garage sale for $0.75 and I thought you might like to use them.”

More than just neighbors, Amy-next-door and I were enablers…always on the look-out for each other’s vices: she and her buttons, I and my fabrics.

As I began rummaging through the brown paper bags, I noticed they contained more than just scraps or random cuts of material.  There was a huge piece of white cotton flannel, a stack of pre-cut 10 ½ x 10 ½ flannel squares, a handful of 3 ½ x 3 ½ ones and miles of uncut flannel fabrics of varying designs and colors.

This was someone’s UFO (quiltspeak for ‘UnFinished Object’). Continue reading

Bearing Witness in Art: Refusing to Turn Away

I am so pleased to present to you the following post written by Deborah J. Brasket.

Deborah’s blog is one that enriches all who visit.  Her writing is beautifully embellished with artwork, quotes, thought provoking prose/poetry, and peppered with passion.  I appreciate her intuitive ability to integrate the arts, nature, facts and her own life experiences into expressive pieces on a variety of subjects. 

To my surprise and delight, when I asked if she’d consider being a guest blogger for my new Giving Voice series, she said, “I’d be thrilled to do so!”  Wow. Thank-you, Deborah.

 

The Beggar by Gaspare Traversi

Too often we are tempted to turn away from images, people, situations, that seem too horrible, too hopeless, that make us feel too helpless to even think about it, let alone do something ourselves to help. Like extreme poverty, hunger, homelessness, addiction, rape, human trafficking, mass murder, mental illness . . . the list goes on.

It’s human nature to do so, to turn away from the ugly faces that our human condition sometimes shows us. To pretend it’s not there, or doesn’t affect us, or isn’t us, or won’t be us, or someone we care about, some day. But it’s important to resist that urge to turn away, even if we have no way to address it.

It has to do with what I’ve come to think of as “bearing witness.” Continue reading