Love In Action

 


Love

In

Action


a column by

Elizabeth Hill


Elizabeth Hill is an artist, teacher, nurse, and mother of three grown daughters.

Her early work in pediatric nursing inspired her international award-winning sculptures, which led her to live at a spiritual and eco-conscious community called Findhorn in Scotland for four years.

There her art became community-based, which ultimately led her back into nursing.



She now finds the two careers have merged in her teaching as well as creating therapeutic products for people with minimal mobility.

www.findhorn.org

www.elizabethhillart.com


Read Love in Action 2016

HERE


And Love in action 2018

HERE


Love in Action 2019

HERE

 

The RBG Effect



"Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation."

~RBG


She was the first female Jewish member of the US Supreme Court. According to Jewish tradition, her passing on the eve of Rosh Hashanah indicates that she was a Tzaddik, a person of great righteousness. Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s entire Peaceful Warrior life was a testament to exactly that. 


Yes, it is true that our world has lost that Giant Beam of Light that radiated from her tiny earth-body, however, her RBG effect will and must live on.


RBG was a force to be reckoned with, fighting always for justice and equality for all, especially women. She was known for her remarkable ability to hold her ground, and often even changed minds of others. 


“Every now and then it helps to be a little deaf...That advice has stood me in good stead- 

not simply in dealing with my marriage, but in dealing with my colleagues.”

~RBG


Among her numerous accomplishments, even before she was appointed to The Supreme Court, Ginsberg’s work paved the way for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act—which was passed in 1974—allowing women to apply for bank accounts, credit cards, and mortgages without a male co-signer.


For me and many other Baby Boomer women, the 70’s were the years we got married and started having babies. When I think back on that era, I’m only now fully realizing just how limited women’s rights were then. 


"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made...” 

~RBG 

Her departure has not abandoned us. Rather, the legacy she gifts each of us with is a call for action to continue her fight. We must honor her life by keeping hope, peaceful resistance, and dissension alive. Most of all, we must not feel powerless. Through her innate humanity, tenacity, persistence, creativity, femininity, and symbolic collars and jabots, all blended with her wonderfully rye sense of humor, RBG has shown us ways to peacefully continue the fight for justice and equality. 


Ginsberg had a playful nature, especially when it came to her symbolic collars and jabots. She and Sandra Day O’Connor noticed that the Judges’ gown were made for men’s shirt collars and ties to be seen, so they decided to feminize their own gowns. 


Ginsberg accumulated many unique collars and jabots. Each one was carefully chosen, depending on what the Court was discussing and deciding upon. These adornments not only harkened back to the Court’s foundations, but also distinguished the wearer as female, and celebrated the traditional women’s arts of knitting, crochet, and lace.


“If I had any talent in the world... I would be a great Diva.”

~RBG


Not only did she enjoy a close long-time friendship with conservative Judge Antonin Scalia, she could also laugh at her self. In 2010 and then again in 2015, after going out to dinner with her Supreme Court colleagues, she was filmed sleeping during the State of The Union speeches. When asked about how that happened, she replied with a cheeky smile:


“I wasn’t 100 percent sober.”

~RBG


The work ahead is likely to be messy and chaotic. Personally, I’m thinking I need my own dissenting collar to remind me of what can be accomplished when Heart and Head work together. 


The photos above are of collars created by the artist Stephanie Syjuco, who welcomes all to share: https://g.co/kgs/vBq79x.


And here’s another link with step by step directions to create your own with fabric and flair.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS3CjKx2t1s



"I'm sometimes asked 'When will there be enough (women on the Supreme Court)?' and my answer is: 'When there are nine.'

~RBG


Entering a Brand New Portal



“The pandemic is a portal.”

~Arundhati Roy


We—and by that I mean Humanity—have no way to go but forward. It seems to me our planet and its inhabitants are going through a collective and epic transition. Do you feel as if you have been living in a Neverending Twilight Zone? Have you felt as if you’ve been walking in cement shoes—dodging chaos, fear, anger, endless lies, injustice, illness, death, and violence that’s been circulating around us all?


“There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. 

There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.”

~Arundhati Roy


The last two evenings, I’ve been watching the first virtual political convention leading up to our November presidential election. Nearly every speaker—from both political parties—spoke of the necessity for unity, integrity, honesty, affordable healthcare, social and racial justice; all envisioning a kinder, more civil and sustainable America. Surprisingly, I found myself feeling proud to be an American, once again. 


This morning, I awoke a bit lighter, more optimistic. Perhaps it was the energy of the current New Moon I felt, though I really can’t say. Whatever it was, in my mind’s eye, a new door stood open before me. 


With Gratitude and Humility in my heart, I stepped though.


“To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty in its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.” 

~Arundhati Roy


The Coronavirus Pandemic is a portal like no other has been. It beckons each of us, not to hold on so tightly to our past out of fear, but to open to each tomorrow with Love as your guide. 


Please gift yourselves by clicking on the link below:


“Another world is not only possible, she's on her way. 

Maybe many of us won't be here to greet her, 

but on a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

~Arundhati Roy


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hgQFaeaeo0


Photo Credit: Kate Hill Cantrill





Transforming Us

A tribute to John Lewis


~Baby Chick~


Peck, peck, peck

On the warm brown egg.

Out comes a neck

Out comes a leg.


How does a chick

Whose not been about,

Discover the trick

Of how to get out?


~Aileen Fisher


A friend told me that farmers know not to help baby chicks in their hatching process. It seems that outside intervening can be dangerous for the chick. Though some chicks struggle for several days to emerge from their egg shell, if a person tries to help by taking off pieces of the shell, the chick will often die. Apparently, it is essential that each chick does the hard work of hatching by itself.


Over the last few months, all humans have been stopped in our tracks and confined—not unlike the incubating chicks inside their eggs—to our homes by a deadly pandemic. Many people have not only lost friends and love-ones to COVID19, and were not even able to say goodbye in person, or to honor them with funerals. Even now, as some states are gradually opening up, many continue to experience anxiety at the very least while others suffer from full-blown PTSD.


America itself is in chaos—politically, financially, psychologically, and spiritually—while unbridled and enabled-from-the-top racism and violence rear their ugly heads for all to see. 


Every day when I walk my dog around this fairly diverse middle class suburban neighborhood, I am often the only person who is wearing a mask. As a recently retired nurse, it infuriates me that so many others don’t see the need to help quell the spread of this ever-mutating virus.


All that said, I am aware of growing positive change forming out of necessity from grass-roots initiatives to combat climate change, social injustice, our healthcare crisis, and homelessness.


I have also seen that many people have turned their attention inward—individually and collectively—each struggling to emerge from a process of hatching out of old ways of thinking, living, and being. 


With hope in our hearts, and creativity in our hands, together we can transform ourselves and manifest a better, more sustainable, and equitable New World. 


We are one people; we are only family.

 And when we finally accept these truths, 

then we will be able to fulfill Dr. King's dream to build a beloved community, a nation, and a world at peace with itself. 

~John Lewis


An American Life Full of Grace


“Fear is a disease that eats away at logic and makes man inhuman.” 

~Marian Anderson


Marian Anderson, born in Philadelphia Pa., was an African-American contralto opera singer who performed world-wide. The Italian conductor, Arturo Toscanini, celebrated her voice as, “One that comes around once in a hundred years.”


Anderson performed in countless Concert Halls across America. Though beloved by her audiences, she was subjected to racial restrictions regarding accommodations, dining rooms, travel, restrooms, and backstage dressing rooms. 


“Prejudice is like a hair across your cheek.

You can’t see it, you can’t find it with your fingers,

but you keep brushing at it because the feel of it is irritating.”

~Marian Anderson


By 1939, Anderson’s popularity had outgrown most of Washington DC’s concert halls. However, Constitutional Hall, built in 1929 by The Daughters of the American Revolution, had a capacity of 4,000 spectators. Anderson’s agent—Sol Hurok from Howard University—approached the management of Constitutional Hall, hoping to book the venue for an Easter Sunday concert for their annual fundraiser.  Hurok was told the venue was already booked. Hurok then offered several more dates for a concert, but was given the same response. Shortly after that, Hurok discovered those dates had all been available for white performers. Apparently, the DAR had accepted their largest funding for the Hall’s construction under the condition that only whites would be allowed to perform on that stage.


Marian Anderson had twice performed at The White House, and when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt—a member of the DAR—found out about the rejection, she was outraged! To the DAR she wrote, “I am in complete disagreement with the attitude taken in refusing Constitution Hall to a great artist. You have set an example which seems to me unfortunate, and I feel obliged to send in to you my resignation. You had an opportunity to lead in an enlightened way and it seems to me that your organization has failed.”


Though the DAR president general tried to dissuade her, Mrs. Roosevelt arranged an outdoor Easter Sunday 1939 concert at The Lincoln Memorial, overseen by the Department of The Interior.


On Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, Harold Ickes—the Secretary of the Interior—introduced Marian Anderson saying, “In this great auditorium under the sky, all of us are free. . . Genius knows no color line.” 


With Lincoln’s image above her, a multitude of microphones broadcasted to millions across the country. In front of her, 75,000 Americans of all races, genders, and ages stood, dressed in their Easter finary. It was, by far, the largest audience she had ever seen and she was terrified.


In reading about the event, I was intrigued by her choices and placement of the first song as well as the last one. She opened with “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” 

Link to 1939 Lincoln Memorial Concert: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAONYTMf2pk


The last song in her concert is one that goes straight through my heart, as I’m sure it did for the audience that day, as she sang “Nobody Knows The Troubles I’ve Seen.”  

Link to a rendition of it: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxFvI1roQIw


Among the audience that Easter Sunday was ten year old Martin Luther King Jr. Five years later, in an oratory contest, he referred to Anderson’s Lincoln Memorial performance, saying, “She sang as never before, with tears in her eyes. When the words of “America” and “Nobody Knows the Troubles I Seen” rang out over that great gathering, there was a hush on the sea of uplifted faces, black and white, and a new baptism of liberty, equality, and fraternity.”


Newspapers across the country acknowledged the significance of the moment with front page stories. One newsreel labeled it, “Nation’s Capital Gets Lesson in Tolerance.”


“None of us is responsible for the complexion of his skin. 

This fact of nature offers no clue to the character or quality of the person underneath.” 

~Marian Anderson


On the DAR’s website, the organization made a formal apology to Marian Anderson for their slight in 1939, and went on to say “...today we join all Americans in grateful recognition that her historic performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was a pivotal point in the struggle for racial equality. The beauty of her voice, amplified by her courage and grace, brought attention to the eloquence of many voices urging our nation to overcome prejudice and intolerance. It sparked change not just in the DAR but in all of America.”


In 1943, Anderson was finally invited to perform at the DAR’s Constitution Hall for an American Red Cross war relief fundraiser. That concert brought the world an extra blessing, in that Anderson, at first, had refused to perform unless the management agreed to suspend their segregated seating policy. 


They complied to her request, and then, she sang...