Monday, January 20, 2014

#148 Colors

When I first arrived in Portland after having spent 30 years in the western mountains, there were two things that struck me like bolts of lightning.

One was the produce section at Hannaford. I was blown away by the variety of colors and the diversity of the fresh produce laid out like the garden of Eden. It was awesome and I walked to that produce section every day for months before I could believe it.

The other thing was my first walk downtown. I saw old people and babies, Blacks, Asians and Indians - all pretty much non-existant in Carrabassett Valley. I was scared and fascinated at the same time, because though I had been raised in a very diverse town, I had forgotten how to be in a world where not everyone looks like me. I had never lived in a city before - this move was a big experiment - but it really didn't take me long to feel more and more comfortable in my own skin again. I found I belonged here with all of these different people from all over the world. I didn't want to stand out. I wanted to blend in.

Diversity is challenging because it means we all have to continually stretch our knowledge way into the unknown. It forces a choice between hate, and unconditional love and compassion on a very deep and meaningful level - not as a belief, but as a real core feeling.

I choose love and compassion every day on my walk. I have found it stimulates a profound gratitude for being a part of this beautiful rainbow called humanity. I have also discovered that I would much rather be splayed out in the fresh produce section than crammed into the boxed and canned.

Colors • 8"x8" watercolor and gouache framed to 12"x12" • $200

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