I saw courage both in the Vietnam War and in the struggle to stop it. I learned that patriotism includes protest, not just military service.
-- John Kerry, Secretary of State and Vietnam veteran
I created the ink wash drawing at left during the war. The source was probably a magazine or newspaper image. Back then images of the carnage of war streamed daily into our consciousness. Rows of flag draped coffins, napalmed civilians and the ongoing protests, many of which I was a part of. Not like today where we get a more palatable sanitized version of war. Back then, you could be drafted at 18, but couldn't vote until 21. This age group was the most likely to be put in harms way, but had no say in the matter. They did change the law and my first opportunity to vote was a choice between re-electing Richard Nixon and George McGovern in '72. It wasn't a difficult one, I voted for McGovern who was against the war, but Tricky Dick won in a landslide. But finally the growing chorus of voices could no longer be ignored and 'peace with honor' was at last negotiated. Over 50,000 Americans were killed and the draft has never been used again. I worked with a Vietnamese guy who was a child there while the war was going on. He asked teasingly; "Did you come to my country and make Boom-Boom?" I said, "I know we all look alike, but it wasn't me, man!" All 18 year old men had to register for selective service, as they still do, and the draft was preceeded by a lottery where they would pick your birthday to determine in what order you would be drafted. This was a televised ritual that was repeated every year. The year my number came up, the war had begun to wind down and thankfully they cancelled the draft before they got to me. Phew! I'm certain no one from that era has forgotten their lottery number. Mine was 153. The year before, my birthday came up #1. And because of that, it was a time of, Eat, Drink and be totally out of your mind, for tomorrow... Anyway, on a lighter note, the first bumper sticker I ever had on one of my vehicles was: Impeach Nixon. (Yes it was a VW bus! Haha!) And we all know what happened to him... So for me today is a day of celebration and also one of reflection and mourning. So let us hold our standard high. Pray for, and affirm Peace.
This free two-day event invites you to seek out the architectural heritage and future of some of Denver’s most interesting buildings.
This year's event headquarters will be in the newly expanded Union Station at 17th & Wynkoop in downtown Denver, pictured at left. Here you can get the Event Guide and map, sign-up for Insider Tours and purchase a copy of Guide to Denver Architecture. The 2015 theme is Denver Classics Then and Now with over 50 buildings open to the public. I visited two places in the RiNo Arts District, Redline Gallery and studios and the Dry Ice building which houses 2 galleries and 32 artist's studios. At the latter, Matt, the owner and building's restorer gave us a tour and told us the building's history and how he purchased the long deserted structure in 2007 and lovingly turned it into the vibrant work and gallery space it is today. Twas a fun day exploring and talking with painters, sculptors, gallerists, jewelry and fashion designers! Most events are free thanks to sponsor, Denver Architectural Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. To learn more: http://doorsopendenver.com
The Hubble Telescope was launched 25 years ago today aboard the space shuttle Discovery. In honor of the Month of Photography, I wanted to acknowledge its impact on our understanding of our place in our universe! And has sent back some amazing images. I know the word 'amazing' is way overused but it certainly applies here!
Yesterday, I went up to have an outdoor lunch with some old and new friends west of Loveland in the Backbone Ridge area. But first I treated myself to a stop at the Loveland Art Museum, where I engaged in a conversation with Cultural Services Director Susan Ison. We had gravitated to my favorite sculpture there in the lobby, Bruce Gueswel's Fallujah. She explained they had an exhibit who's subject was Picasso. This was Loveland resident Grueswel's entry, which the museum purchased. And what a great piece it is, with metal human forms floating above several car and truck hoods and doors, which are integral to the piece. Sampling imagery from Picasso's famous painting from 1937, Guernica, his moving and powerful anti war statement in reaction to events during the Spanish Civil War. Some of the elements are visible here, with one notable addition of the burning oil rig in the upper left quadrant. Speaking to the the inflamed situation in the Middle East, in particular the Iraqi town of Fallujah. To me, it reflects the anguish of the residents there, and everyone observing around the world, the senseless violence fueled by our dependence on oil from that troubled region. All for the addiction to our gasoline powered cars. And in this large piece, about 6x9 feet, Gueswel has formed a poignant statement here. Not widely know, Ison told me, is that Gueswel, developed and built the industrial looking art and furnishings for all the Chipotle stores nationwide! To learn more visit : http://www.mayatekinc.com/gueswel/welcome.html and http://www.lovelandmuseumgallery.org
"You must do the thing you think you cannot do."
- -- -- Eleanor Roosevelt
Optimism in the face of uncertainty is a difficult art. The terrain of life is varied and mysterious. I cannot always see the path ahead. At times my view is shadowed by doubt, constricted by fear. The open vistas of optimism are closed to me. In such shortsighted times, I must practice the discipline of positive attitudes. I must consistently choose to expect a benevolent future despite my shaken faith. Grounded in the routine of each day's business, I must act in alignment with my coming good. This means I say "yes" to opportunities for new adventures and acquaintances to enter my life. I say "yes" to unexpected doors opening. Rather than clinging to my known life. I allow that life to alter and expand. I step out in faith despite my misgivings. --- Today, I open my mind and heart to the new vistas before me. I embrace change and accept unfolding possibilities. I am a fertile field available for God's plantings.
-- from: TRANSITIONS - Prayers and Declarations for a Changing Life by Julia Cameron