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Martin Walked

Martin Walked

Friends -
I actually started this gourd earlier in the month, but became necessarily side-tracked in order to complete a commissioned oil painting by last weekend. Thus, 'Martin Walked' was not finalized until today. While I was cutting out the sections around the peace symbol, the left extension broke away. I started to discard the gourd, then thought the better for it. Maybe a fragile, broken, peace sign is more symbolic with respect to the particular theme in this case.

For my own heart I needed to complete the piece because it began as my response to the Tucson shootings on 8 January. Six were tragically shot to death by a madman with his legal semi-automatic handgun. Assemblywoman Gabrielle Gifford's future and ability to function productively remains uncertain. This devastation followed months of ever-increasing political vitriol and loathing which included rifle-sitings laid on Democratic districts, popular hatred toward public employees, lots of threats toward gays, immigrants and disregard for human rights in general. It also happened in January which is the time when many prepare for demonstrations, reflections of peace and civil rights and we do this together at memorial celebrations of Martin Luther King.

The only way to make sense of all of this is to remember what it was like in the 1950's, and realize that things are getting better. I recently saw a T-shirt that had the following printed on the front:

Rosa Sat
so that Martin could walk
Martin Walked
so that Barack could run
Barack Ran
so that all our children can fly

- Kiari Day

Keep on walking. It is our only choice.

margie lopez read