Art is how we see the world, how artists depict glimpses of our world. This below is a collaboration between a visual artist and a literary artist, a collaboration that was started by WiVLA.org, and was produced for their exhibition called SPACE at the Houston Public Library. The exhibition is on display until December 31st. This dual art work, this painting and the essay below, are created together, by the artist and the writer, on the same idea. We thought that this was a very relevant piece for our current day and age, a glimpse into the situation in our country as well as a glimpse into the mood of its people.
Postcards from the Borderlands
Artist: Zita Giraldo
Writer: Jere Pfister
The space between the line that separates and unites is merely a line in the sands of time. What divides today will change tomorrow. Why do we fight so hard today for that which is movable?
Listen to the voices of those who would separate us for all time. “We’ll build a wall so high no one can cross.”
Why punish the people on both sides? Why destroy the beauty of the land and rivers with a wall? Why place children and men in cages on cement floors and tents in the deserts of four states? Why move children to distance spaces beyond the borders so nobody can find them?
Look at the children who are ripped away from their parents and sisters and brothers. Children who are not allowed to seek comfort, who cannot stop crying and suffer abuse and isolation from guards who do not know how to deal with emotionally charged and terrified children?
Can you find a name tag that traces a child back to their family? Ask why they were separated to begin with? Just because men can? Jobs? Welfare? A broken law caused by crossing a border seeking protection? Because their skin color is brown, because they are low class, indigenous, unintelligent? Really?
In a country that celebrates our migrant roots you would carelessly lose track of babies and small children as a deterrent to families seeking safety from criminals, domestic abuse and impotent governments? Look hard at the faces of joy when families are reunited. And look hard at the eyes of a mother rejected by a child who can only reject the one who loves him most dearly because she is the only one who will still love him.
We are a country that celebrates the rule of law. Do we really want to become a country led by the rule of torture and neglect of the unfortunate and desperate?
Have you seen the beauty of the Rio Grande and Pecos Rivers? Have you seen the beauty of the innocent faces of the people who would come to this country that was once their land? Are you so afraid of the criminals from these lands that you would arrest all who cross?
What will it take for us to find love for our neighbors in such distress? When will we see the line that separates as the line that unites us all?
When will we find the space on either side with people of all colors and sizes, lines of Mariachi bands and folk dancers and swing your partner round and round, women bearing platters to sin n while they fill themselves and the little children with the movable feast of abundance made with human hands and hearts.
Or am I mixing this up with Jesus and the miracle of the laves and fishes? It is that ingrained in my soul. Or is my dream mere wishful thinking, pie in the sky? There was another man, a holy man, a medicine man who after many hardships at the hands of the Unites States Military for his own crimes against the settlers sang and wrote prayers brought forth from his and their suffering and the loss of this ancestral lands.
Teach me how to trust my heart, my mind, my intuition, my inner knowing, the senses of my body, and the blessings of spirit. Teach me to trust these things so that I may enter my sacred space and love beyond my fear and thus walk in balance with the passing of each glorious sun.