I actually ended up making another drawing last night. I took a step away from what I consider some of the “prettier” patterns and made this one that reflects some of my own personal conflict over identity, goals, and balance. But it isn’t specific to me, it also applies in a larger sense to the contemporary experience of anyone trying to reconcile two different cultures.
And then I was up this morning making this one before work. I had laid out the basic design last night and then applied color this morning. When I was working last night I’d seen a variety of posts on facebook about a Native carver who was shot by a Seattle police officer earlier in the evening. And this morning there were again several links and comments about it. I was really saddened by this, and although I don’t necessarily think he was the saint that some people might be making him into, I also don’t think that this situation was handled correctly. If he was sitting and carving a piece of wood, how was he harming anyone? Just because the police officer saw him with a knife doesn’t mean that he was threatening people. What if it was a white businessperson sitting and carving a piece of wood while wearing a suit? Of course, that isn’t very likely to happen. But if it did, would it have ended up with the same outcome? I see this as an example of what I was thinking about with the other work. A Native man following his path shot by an American police officer following his path. Two divergent worldviews collide, and tragedy results. It isn’t the first time it has happened, and it won’t be the last. But damn, it sure is sad.