I just finished reading Second Glance by Jodi Picoult. I think Jodi writes well. What I love about her books is that she usually takes a subject and dives in deep while making sure the lay person can get the gist. This book brings the eugenics occurring in Vermont in the 1920-1930’s crashing into today. She has in some cases taken direct quotes from historical documents that will make the bile rise. I found myself thinking-‘really someone actually wrote this down for all to read?’. Not only was it written down but some of these “great minds” got together and made decisions that have had long running ramifications. They were putting folks in prison, mental institutions and performing sterilizations to help save the “Vermont’s good quality stock”. If I am following Jodi’s lead correctly it looks like folks who had Abenaki blood were lumped into one of the blood lines that needed cleaning. How does this impact today? For decades folks who had Abenaki blood lines hide it to prevent these atrocities and who knows how many were sterilized which would end their ability to build on the Abenaki family tree. How shall these folks “prove” they are a native people? These practices are part of why it has been so difficult for the Abenaki to gain access to their lands and culture and try to save their heritage. Jodi Picoult did a good job opening my mind- I knew that people had done this but I had not thought deeply about the larger issues this creates. Then I got to thinking about how we are probably doing this today. People who consider themselves black are about 13% of our population. They are also 39% of the prisoners in our jails. ( according to prisonpolicy.org) I know there is a number of reasons we can site as to why this is the case and I bet the eugenics folks had a bunch of reasons too. Any way enough said….good read…thought provoking.
I did a bit of art this week…taught a private class with three of my favorite folks to hang out with. Below you can see I was teaching about how to apply a flat wash.( the yellow ochre at the top) and about negative painting (the darker blue on the bottom). I worked on the Bradford NH church a bit and of course ran into perspective problems ;). I also started a new painting with our plein aire group but spent the whole time drawing before the rain came. In art class this week we used some adult coloring books as guides to make our art from. I started one as an example that is a thank you gift for a friend. I also went to the Lyme NH library to see the art show and it is really nice! The colors are so bright and spring like- get there if you can to see the art of our Odanaksis painting group!
Until next week-