Art for an anxious moment: remembering a childhood ‘friend’

Last night, I had two different sets of anxiety dreams. These days, you don’t even have to be asleep to have anxiety dreams. Between COVID-19, a critical mass of people finally starting to think about what it really means to come to terms with the US’s legacy of institutionalized racism, despite very real pushback from the Orange Mess in the White House and his minions….well, it’s a lot. 

And I, a lone white woman in the throes of early cronehood, can do little more than to continue poking my toothpick into the monster that is systemic racism. Which, in my own way, I am doing my best to do without making a big deal of it. It’s not my voice and my ideas that need to be amplified right now. So when it comes to Black Lives Mattering, Burning Systemic Racism at the Stake and Reorganizing What Community Security Looks Like, I’m doing my best to shut up, listen, and do what I can to be helpful without being in the way. 

Which is why this post contains a single image I haven’t been able to get out of my mind when I think of George Floyd. It’s a sculpture I loved as a child and lives in the Munson Williams Proctor Institute in Utica, New York. 

It’s called Grieving Angel by Leonard Baskin, and it seems to me that it speaks to the moment in which we are living. 

It hasn’t been on display for decades. But I hope the museum will bring it out and put it back where it was always standing, in the atrium by the stairs leading to the galleries.

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