I’ve invited friend, artist, and fellow writer Marilee Yeend to share her recent essay as a guest blogger for The DayMaker.
Over the several years I’ve known Marilee, through writing classes I conduct in Coos Bay, I’ve observed how her artist’s view informs her written eloquence. She read her timely piece aloud in last week’s class, and when she finished, a collective gasp rose from the group. Painting pictures with her words, Marilee touched us all and made us think. She’s kindly allowed me to post her essay. Thank you, Marilee.
In the movie “Gettysburg” there were soldiers marching in a line, going toward the enemy line of soldiers, determined to break through. I saw in my mind a Mondrian painting our teacher Steve showed us in Art History. It had several black lines at right angles to each other, forming boxes. Each line seemed to hold the others in place. In some of the boxes there were primary colors, but they were held firmly in place by the interconnecting lines. They had no way of escape, no where they could go, no pathways to explore. They could not flow, could not touch another color to form something new. A new color was prevented from being born because they could not interact with each other from the imprisonment in their respective cages.
Another painting had lines also, but they seemed to be in constant motion, one flowing into another, interacting with each other in such a way that created movement. Rather than being static, rigid, imprisoning, there was a flow -- like a flag blowing in the wind.
We tend to think of lines as being hard, crisp, unyielding; one side good, one side bad. One side right, one side wrong. But upon closer inspection they become blurred, moving, one side blending into the other. Both sides right, both sides wrong, both sides good, both sides bad. After much destruction, pain and loss, with neither side the winner, the line disappears for a while to re-appear yet again at another time, in another place, because the lines were not erased from their minds.
We make up lines and form boxes around our thoughts. One thought is not allowed to interact with another thought for fear it will destroy a belief.
I see these lines in progression: opinion is thin and when not reinforced with many others, could be swayed in another direction, bent, or eliminated. Judgement is a thicker line that helps hold opinions in place, and is not easily changed. Belief is a thick line reinforced by many opinions and judgments, nearly impossible to change unless something very strong breaks through and allows freedom of thought.
When will we learn to appreciate the differences, to accept them and not feel threatened by them? When will we learn that who we are is not defined by what we believe? Our safety and peace of mind do not come from everyone accepting what we find to be true for ourselves.
Different colors woven together in a pattern make a tapestry that the eye blends into a beautiful whole.