It was the actual election that was the big deal, when we shouted and laughed and cried with joy and relief. Yes we did! I didn’t think the pomp of the inaugural ceremony would tug at my emotions so much but in fact, a hanky the size of a flag would have come in handy. It brought to mind a piece by Stephen Beveridge called Choose Again, which I’ve often thought about since seeing his show last year. It’s a starkly graphic piece in black and white, with a reminder that decisions aren’t necessarily so. A reminder that wrong paths can be redirected, and wounds can be healed. And not that I believe our country actually chose George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, but we did reconsider the fallout of those last elections, and we did choose Barack Obama and Joe Biden. We did choose hope over fear this time, and my high hopes are that we can live up to some big responsibilities, and that Obama will be well, and lead well.
Beveridge wrote, “I need to be reminded I can choose again. Love or fear, peace or anger, right or happy, awake or asleep. I am not a victim of circumstance, birth, or disease. Deep within there is a place where I have never been or never can be hurt, harmed, or endangered in any way. This place is where I want my art to come from. I want my art to be a vehicle to that place. A vehicle to that place for me and, incredibly, for you too.”
We have the ability to right many of our mistakes, to see things through the focusing lens of experience, to approach our problems differently, to release our grip on grudges and bitterness, to reach out again for the ideal.
Yes, we can.
[above: Choose Again, © Stephen Beveridge]