Thursday, November 6, 2008

539 e. 21st... signed, sealed, delivered


you're looking at: 84 hours over 25 days. dozens of gallons of paint. and lots of muscle strain.
well, i put the last coat of the anti-graffiti sealant on yesterday and in so doing, OFFICIALLY, sealed the deal on the mural at 539. it'll be a while before the scaffold comes down and i can show you what it looks like behind all that metal. once the scaffold comes down, i will need to go back over with an extension ladder (EEK!) to paint 4 one-inch x 2 inch patches of bare wall where the scaffold was connected to the wall, 2 levels up. Until then, i thought i'd share the details no one will ever be able to really see... unless they were really, really tall.
So, starting at the top and working our way down... here's "Our Roots, Our Community".














Tuesday, November 4, 2008

where to begin?...


i'm sitting here, my computer on my lap, crying and smiling all at once. i'm thinking about the gargantuan weight of this election and feeling so epically relieved--- the phrase "it's over" keeps crowding my mind. i never really followed politics before, and frankly, beside musing over "W"isms on you tube, i never read an article or watched a debate; my government and i didn't see eye to eye. i've never used this as a forum for political conversation, and actually went out of my way to avoid linking to foolish Palin interviews or campaign messages from moveon.org, but i can't sit here and watch that number go from 207 to suddenly 333 and now, as i type this, 338, and not say anything. i can't cry like this and throw my window open, listening to the car horns & cheering on our block, feeling like a child listening for santa, and not talk about this. i believe that it's probably unlikely that i and my artwork would have drawn a closed minded individual here in the first place--- it's completely contrary to what i believe and what my artwork, what my LIFE is about, but i suppose it's possible. and i hope, if you are/were a McCain supporter and you do/did regularly read my blog this won't change things... and if it does, I'm sorry. 

not sorry that i said what i said, but sorry that affiliations would change things. 

on the flip side, the many hundreds of you who i know share my sentiments-- parents, artists, small business owners, and people from all over the world who just want to live happy, positive, loving lives--- how big your hearts must be tonight. we won. not the democrats-- the country--- we, americans, won. we won the opportunity for change, for positivity, for youth, for support, for REAL safety from REAL terrorists. we won the freedom FROM fear. we won strength, civic responsibility, citizens who feel inspired. we won history and future. we won a president you WANT to hear speak... and thank goodness... we won a president. how long has it been since you've felt you had a PRESIDENT? 

when the news broke, AJ and i sat speechless--- what happened? where did those numbers come from? did california come in? and as the sounds of cheers filled our streets, we held each other and cried. at the risk of being overly sentimental--- we cried the most cleansing tears we've cried in years. we live in a blue state-- we dream of moving to another blue state---our families live in blue states, but watching PA turn blue, then OH, and just recently, FL, and it was like watching a birth or a demolition, a wiping clean of a slate, a regeneration, a complete and total shift. i felt... i FEEL light. 

i'm watching him accept his position--- this man is what our president should look like. don't you feel that? when he speaks--- i believe him. he's clear and decisive. he looks like men i see all around me; he looks real. 

we are civic minded people. we want to raise civilians--- tonight, i feel so full of love and light and possibility. THIS is the president i want for my children. There will be little girls in the white house. There will be a puppy in the white house. This is my first family--- loving, HONEST, faithful husband, sober and un-pregnant children; people who don't shoot animals from helicopters; people who read newspapers (or at least know how to PRETEND they do). i feel, for the first time in a long time, that the air COULD get cleaner... the polar bears might just keep their glaciers... the war really could end... being an artist might actually be viable... people could finally be treated equally, no matter their color or sexual orientation; love & commitment might FINALLY define a marriage. this country will feel un-broken. 

he's quoting Lincoln and it sounds right. 

the other night, AJ & i were out at the mall, and happened to come back out to our car at the precise moment a young boy-- maybe 14, was peeling the Obama sticker off the back of our car. He had, as we'd come to find out, discarded it on the ground behind the car, and then quickly walked off WITH his mother. Neither of them looked back or acknowledged what had happened until we ran after them calling "hey! give it back! where is it". The mother very passively told him to give it back to us, but didn't make eye contact (and she certainly hadn't stopped him while she was standing next to him as he was doing it). He told us it was on the ground and they kept on going--- anger and outrage took over and i ran after them, calling to them and asking "is THIS how you teach your child democracy? is THIS how you want him to vote?". She never responded, except with expletives and a finger gesture. Well, the chances are incredibly slim that she would ever read this, but in case she does... I would want to say this:

"thank you. 
thank you for showing me your true self. thank you for showing me your fear. i won't try to guess what exactly you were afraid of--- a black man? a pacifist? a family man? a lawyer? a real leader? change? a believer? an optimist? I'll never know. what i DO know, however, is that running after you that night, fueled by my frustration--- this terrible feeling of being powerless; of working my tail off to do what's right; of giving and giving and giving of myself and feeling like i was alone; watching idiots make decisions with no accountability; watching hatred dictate everything--- fueled by the frustration that stems from being a democrat, a liberal, a pacifist; that stems from being "made" to sit back and play nice--- running after you and feeling like every single fiber of my body had been devalued, tarnished, vandalized and stolen by you, by your child--- i needed that run. i dare say there's a lot of us out there who have NEEDED to run after you and people like you. people who dare tell us how to live our lives-- who preach God & country, but act Godlessly and with no sense of democracy. i needed to follow when you gave chase, to let you know that no matter what you might believe in and no matter how low you might stoop or how hard you might fight, i would fight just as hard. I needed you to know that i wasn't afraid of you. Not of you. Not of your president. Not of your war. Not of your racism. Not of your hatred. Not of your bigotry. Not of your sexism. Not of guns. 

i wasn't afraid of you. 
i'm not afraid of you. 

but i am afraid of your ignorance. 

i'm afraid of your infection. 
i'm afraid of your tactics. 
i'm afraid of your parenting. 

if you're reading this tonight, i thank you. And i beg you--- please encourage your son to read, speak, act and think on his own. And if it turns out that he does in fact, on his own, agree with your politics, I welcome him to the race. I look forward to voting with him in the next election. But i would ask you to teach him what it means to be an American. 

What would you have said or done to me, if i had stolen your McCain sticker?"

******
to everyone else--- imagine what we could do if we lived every day the way we're feeling right now? what could we accomplish? what could our children gain? what more could we change? 
it IS possible. We can do this. 

yes we can. 






changing subjects ever so slightly--- we need to celebrate this. we've earned this... SO, let's reap what we've sown. In honor of the Future & the campaign of change, i'd like to offer all you vigilant optimists a chance to celebrate your good deeds. 

from today through November 15th, please enjoy:
*free shipping on all US orders
*AND (in honor of the current electoral vote count) 33.8% off all orders over $10

to cast your vote for greenstarstudio goodies at a sweeping discount, visit my etsy shop, fill your cart & check out. Include the code: "CHANGE08" in the message to seller box, and wait for an updated invoice, before you pay. I'll re-tally and send you a new invoice.

here's to change!
xoxo, danamarie

Please...

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