In love we trust….
In the future, if I go to a trivia night and a question begins with “In what year…”, I’m just gonna yell out “TWENTY-SIXTEEN!”
This has been a crazy, topsy-turvy, roller-coasting, gut-kicking year. We coped with sadness when we lost legends David Bowie*, Alan Rickman, Prince, Gene Wilder, and (sob!) Leonard Cohen. Good things happened too — the giant panda has been taken off the endangered list, the Queen turned 90, Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar (finally), and I was included in a kick-ass book profiling Margaret River artists. But nothing could have prepared us for the shocking outcome of the American election.
It one was of those days that I will always remember where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news. What I don’t remember though, is what I did after hearing the news. I went into a state of shock. I wandered into my studio, and… I’m not sure what I did next. I ended up with a painting though, and red puffy eyes, so I must have been painting and crying while out of body.
I reckon I’m a person who has good values, and I like to surround myself with people who are the same — authentic, honest, compassionate, inclusive, kind. So how, then, does a man who holds the opposite of all these values, get voted in as President? Are my rose-coloured glasses so rosey that I’m blind to the fact that there are so many Americans, so disenfranchised, that they would vote for a man who grabs women by the pussy?
I’m sorry America, for not noticing. I just spent two months exploring you, and I did not even get an inkling of the pain you were in. Y’all seemed your normal beautiful, generous, friendly selves! Kudos to you for those brave faces!
Painting this piece helped me process my feelings and shock. Willingly, I went through the four of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression. But I consciously refused to go to the fifth step: acceptance.
I understand, intellectually, that he won the election. But I do not accept that our country has descended into the hatred-swirled slop pile that he lives in. I reject out of hand the notion that we have thrown up our hands and succumbed to racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and crypto-fascism. I do not accept that. I reject that. I fight that. Today, and tomorrow, and every day until the next election, I reject and fight that story.
In addition, I refuse to accept that the worst possible role model is going to turn me into an angry, hateful, fearful second-class citizen. I do not, will not, accept that.
I also read this article, sharing ways to deal with the shock: “It’s Going to Be OK“.
The author Tim Urban said “America isn’t the president and it’s not the government—it’s 320 million people, and those people haven’t changed.”, and I was reminded that these people are people like me.
We earn a living, we pay taxes, we love our kids, and we want a peaceful, prosperous world. These people, (myself included), are going to rally, stand shoulder to shoulder and call out acts of hatred, racism, sexism and bullying.
We’re going to get up with the sun tomorrow, and the tomorrow after that. We’ll get dressed, get busy, and work harder than ever to be better — better at being courageous, relentlessly positive, and more willing to go the extra mile for someone in need.
This is the vision I’m holding for America, and the whole world for that matter, so that the doppler effect of American politics is absorbed into a groundswell of love. As Martin Luther King Jr said:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
So, I choose to stay calm.
I choose healing, for myself and my community.
I choose to shine a light so that the darkness is diminished.
And ultimately, I choose to respond with love.
In love, we trust.
With love, and shiny intentions,
❤ Anita Revel
PPS Wanna buy THis piece? You can!
Original: 30x30cm, acrylic on canvas (ready to hang), $110 including postage within Australia
Or $95 pick-up Cowaramup
you might also be interested some other original pieces?