Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"Take A Look at This, Ugly!"

That's what I feel like saying to the hate mongers among us in this world. I arrived to The Stonewall Inn vigil for the Orlando shooting victims a little trepidatious. Though I love drawing big crowds, 
I am always a little nervous, having been trampled at an outdoor concert many years ago. I need not have worried. When I first arrived, people were milling about, the street not yet crowded. There was a palpable sadness in the air, and I watched, feeling kind of intrusive, as people laid flowers and 
wiped tears from their eyes, unabashedly, often hugging loved ones, and yes, strangers. 
Soon, the crowds thickened, but the air of peace and loving still enveloped us. 
Reporters, press, police, all very chill and very beautiful. 
There were signs and chants, all supportive. And the numbers grew, as did the feeling of community, shared sadness but also, purposefulness, waiting for the arrival of the governor, 
the mayor and the chief of police.
Before I knew it, I realized that I was in the midst of what seemed like thousands of people. Every so often, a collective chant would erupt, flags were waving, signs were held high, and bios of the victims distributed. Even as people walked through the crowd, there was a unity, a beauty, a calm 
and lots of love, of love, of love.

So, take that, ugly- you who choose to discriminate, to separate, to dare to think about denying the happiness and fulfillment of a life based on narrow minded, biased opinions. 




11 comments:

Jane Dillon Wingfield: janewingfield@gmail.com said...

I really identified as feeling a bit of an intruder as I sketched our town's vigil. It was like walking into sacred space at times. Great reportage on news we'd rather not have to face.

memi said...

Jane, thanks for your comment. I agree-and felt it through your incredible drawings as well... but as with so many of these difficult scenarios, if we do not, the stories go untold through voices such as ours. The drawings bring something that a photo just cannot.

Orling Dominguez said...

Thank you for documenting and sharing these moments Melanie. Sad moments, but so neccessary to tell the world.

Love,
Orling

VHein said...

Beautiful and so moving, Melanie, thank you.

memi said...

Thanks so much, Or and V- you two are such good friends from different parts of the world, yet we are all always together in spirit, somehow. xxxx

Cindy said...

Your reportage is moving and greatly appreciated. Every vigil, gathering and prayer means so much to my city, and I personally connect with your medium as a way to understand the deeper experience you witnessed. Thank you.

memi said...

Cindy, thank you for finding me and taking the time to comment. This whole country is with you. Wishing you peace...

Edric Hsu said...

Beautiful sketches and heartfelt words! Fitting that the only colours needed here are on the rainbow flags... May love conquer hate, sadness and tragedy!

Chantal said...

Wonderful sketches and message of solidarity through peace. Such an important part of healing that many people will miss seeing in mainstream media but can at least witness here. Thanks for reporting on this.

memi said...

Thanks so much, Edric and Chantal- a small part in the big picture of highlighting the good over evil.

Lorell Girard said...

Thank you Melanie for the reminder, through your sketching, that not all is lost, that kindness and community still exist in the world. It is so sad that there are those in communities small and large that are so sadly cut off from their own true selves and the goodness in the world that they must lash out at others. We must all spread light where we can, with whatever skills we may have, focusing on the good. Taking this opportunity to thank you for the privilege of joining you in SBS. This encourages me to get out the pen, which is as always, mightier than the sword.