We decided to draw something that made us happy and post it every morning before looking at anything else, and we’ve now started doing it when we need to “reset” during the day. It’s a tiny self-care ritual that will hopefully benefit even non-artists, since you can check the hashtag even if you don’t contribute to it. (If you are an artist, join us!)
I feel pretty good about #distractiondraw (Twitter link). It didn’t make me feel less like the world is ending, or less like i’m living in a dangerous echo of Germany from 1933, but it encourages camaraderie and support among people who are woke enough to be anxious. It’s not the first time i’ve used art to connect with people in this, the Darkest Timeline–i started in November with the #drawmestrong hashtag, and at the beginning of January, i volunteered at a clever Dakota Gallery event.
Dakota Gallery held a fundraiser for a few non-profit groups (NWIRP, Earth Justice, & Whatcom PJC) on the first Friday of the month, during The Art Walk. Volunteer artists (including me) would sketch for ten minutes and patrons would donate $10, then walk away with an original. Since i can’t afford to donate cash very often, this was a great opportunity for me to contribute. I went home tired but satisfied about having done something.
I had no idea what i would feel like, though, when NWIRP showed up to SeaTac airport and freed two detainees. One of the detainees was actually on a moving plane, in the process of being deported. Through a court order, the plane was forced to stop and let him off. You can read the full story here.
Nothing, not the #drawmestrongs, not the #distractiondraws, not my brief participation in the historic largest march in human history, not repeatedly calling my senator who (thankfully!) already agrees with me on everything, nothing has given me such a fierce satisfaction and a ferocious need to make it happen again. Every protest, every march, has impressed me and reinforced my faith that more of America understands what we’re fighting–but those have been displays of strength, not rescues.
I’ve seen the face of someone whose rights were reinstated by lawyers working with funds i helped provide. Even though my contribution was tiny, i haven’t felt this good in weeks.
If you can support an organization who is on the ground in any way, i recommend it as more than an act of resistance–i also recommend it as another act of self-care. It won’t always pay out in a way you can see, and that’s okay; you help because it’s the right thing to do for others. But when you do see results, the boost can be incredible. I helped get that engineer where he was supposed to be, where he’d paid to go and had the right to go, and it has validated and energized me. We need all the validation and energy we can get because we have no idea how long it will take to clean up this shit carnival.
…But we will clean it up.