Archive for October 30th, 2008

hope change hope, A Fourth Street resident in Albuquerque expresses wishes for the ’08 presidential elections, photo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.

My daughters are in on it now. This weekend, driving down Fourth Street in Albuquerque’s north valley, Em points one out.

“Mom, we just passed a really good sign.”

“Was it worth stopping for?” I ask her.

“Yes, yes!”

I pull over, wait for the cars behind me to pass, then do a U-ey. She’s right, this one is gorgeous.

Here’s what we’re noticing as we drive around town. People in the central Rio Grande Valley are expressing their support for Barack Obama in very creative ways. Signs are cropping up everywhere—and not just your ordinary signs. We’re seeing oodles of the large Hope sign that features the bold graphic of Obama’s face. And we’re seeing handmade forms of political expression into which people are putting time, energy, beauty, and humor.

All along the main roads in Albuquerque’s north valley, as well as Corrales, you can see ’em. Yes, there are plenty of your standard political signs for both sides, but the ones we’re stopping to admire and photograph are standout.

Maybe it’s because New Mexico is a battleground state. In the 2000 presidential elections, Al Gore squeaked by with less than 500 votes. In 2004, Bush won by only 6,000 votes. And in the 2008 Democratic primaries, it took a week before the winner was declared. (Hillary won by about 1,700 votes.)

We get serious about our races in this state, and this year Albuquerque and Corrales—two cities in the central Rio Grande Valley—are working hard to make New Mexico “blue.”

Personally, I’m knocking on doors in historically “red” precincts, and even though it’s not my favorite type of work (last election, homeowners nearly chased me off their lawns by election day) I’m still putting myself out there.

And I can tell you this. Deep in my gut, I know that NM will, indeed, be “blue” this election. I feel it in my bones.

Here are five completely non-scientific reasons why:

  1. The signs. No one ever got this into it in 2004. No one seemed to do anything more than slap a machine-made yard sign in front of a wall. The signs we’re seeing this round tell me something about the level of passion people have—they’re going out of their way to express themselves.
  2. At an early vote rally on the day after early voting began, about 100 Obama supporters and I stood with signs on one of the busiest street corners in one of the most conservative precincts around, and we got a surprisingly large number of thumbs-up, high-fives, and cheers from passing cars. Yes, we heard and saw a few obscenities, but the positives far outweighed the negatives.
  3. Going door-to-door in a “red” district, I’m seeing a lot of Obama signs (ordinary garden variety) and I’m hearing people say, “Yes, you can count on our support!” Some of these folks are NM’s version of so-called “Dixie-crats,” Democrats who in the past few elections have voted based on so-called “culture” issues. One guy came out and said, “I don’t like homosexuals, gun control, or abortions, but I like Obama.” On my most recent round of canvassing, I even ran into Republican couple who said, “We’re done with the Republicans; we’re voting Democrat.”
  4. I’ve gone from being a nervous Nellie to having hope. I worked the 2004 elections and I can tell, something is different this time ’round. I’m proud to wear my Obama buttons and drive around with my “Obamanos” bumper sticker on my car. Last election, people flipped me off when they saw my Kerry bumper sticker. I got to where I cowered over my political expression. All that fear is gone today.
  5. Finally, my kids tell me that most of their friends are voting for Obama. Of course, my kids’ friends can’t vote, but their parents can. I have a feeling these young’ins are echoing their parents’ preferences.

So there you have it. I see hope on the ground, and I feel hope in my heart.

Now let’s go make it happen.



-Related to post WRITING TOPIC – WHY I VOTE.

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Night Flower Faces The Sun, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Night Flower Faces The Sun, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

ONE: The 8th Stage of the Great Round, Functioning Ego, allows you to stand on your own two feet, reach out, and engage the Universe, much like a flower turns to face the sun. Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Rainbow Magic pens that change & erase color.

5-Pointed Star, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

5-Pointed Star, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

TWO: In the rising star of Stage 8, others begin to take notice of skills, abilities, and dedication to your craft. The 5-poined star mandala has a firm foundation, arms outstretched, head held high. Medium: Reeves Water Colour Pencils.

Laws Of Nature, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Laws Of Nature, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

THREE: During Stage 8, you take life by the hand and learn to manage the many circles spinning around you. Whether a complex project, people working together in the spirit of cooperation, or the waxing phases of the Moon, you are learning to work in harmony with Nature. Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.

Thunderbird, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Thunderbird, Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 2008, photo © 2008 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

FOUR: In this Native American mandala, the static cross sprouts wings and becomes a spinning Thunderbird form, ancient symbol of the Sun. Archaeological evidence of this shape on ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. Medium: Crayola markers, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, and Reeves Water Colour Pencils.

August Mandalas — Stage 8 – Functioning Ego

Whether starting your own business, remodeling your home, or managing interpersonal issues as a community leader, Functioning Ego is about taking Action. A time of doing, not being, Stage 8 becomes activated when you take the initiative to bring an inspiration into reality, and really kicks in when you are engrossed in the challenging tasks required to reach your goals.

These mandalas are from the 8th month of a year-long mandala practice that began with the post Coloring Mandalas . Early this year, I made the decision to follow the twelve passages of Joan Kellogg’s The Great Round. According to Susanne F. Fincher, the healing benefits of The Great Round: Stage 8 – Functioning Ego are:

  • ability to work comfortably in group settings, organizations, or alone, whichever is needed to accomplish your goals
  • inspiration becomes reality through great effort, and takes on a form that is seen and appreciated by others
  • you are actively engaged toward personal goals, living life on life’s terms, using the imagination to the fullest to create new and wondrous things
  • on the spiritual level, healing takes place through finding ways of sharing wisdom gently and respectfully with others, in ways they can understand

I’m currently working on the tail end of October’s mandalas, along with a painting in the studio. The textures and colors are kind of wild on the canvas, so I thought I’d continue to use the mandalas to talk about color. Some time ago, when I was researching information on Providence, I ran into Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Theory of Colours (original German title, Zur Farbenlehre).

Goethe's Colour Wheel, 1809, image Public Domain

Goethe, originator of the concept of World Literature (Weltliteratur), took great interest in the literatures of England, France, Italy, classical Greece, and Persia, and wrote what is considered a high point of world literature, the two-part drama Faust. Theory of Colours was published in 1810 and Wassily Kandinsky called it, “one of the most important works.”

The last major color breakthrough had been in 1660 with Sir Isaac Newton whose work in optics led to his creation of the color wheel. For Newton all the colors existed within white light. But Goethe’s Colour Wheel arose from the interaction of light and dark, and the psychological effects of color. Goethe didn’t see darkness as an absence of light, but polar opposite and interacting with light. Colour resulted from the interaction of light and shadow.

He wrote:

Yellow is a light which has been dampened by darkness; Blue is a darkness weakened by the light. Light is the simplest most undivided most homogenous being that we know. Confronting it is the darkness.

–Letter to Jacobi

Goethe's Triangle, image for educational purposes, from Color Mixing and Goethe's Triangle (csbrownedu)

Goethe wanted to uncover color’s secrets and investigated whether rules could be used to govern the artistic use of color. He created a Colour Wheel but later found his ideas were best expressed within an equilateral triangle. In Goethe’s original triangle, the three primaries red, yellow, and blue, are arranged at the vertices of the triangle. He chose the primaries based as much on their emotional content as on their physical characteristics.

To Goethe it was important to understand human reaction to color, and his research marks the beginning of modern color psychology. He believed that his triangle was a diagram of the human mind and linked each color with certain emotions. Blue evoked a quiet mood, while red was festive and imaginative. The emotional aspect of the arrangement of the triangle reflects Goethe’s belief that the emotional content of each color be taken into account by artists.

Goethe’s theories of color and emotional response, once considered radical, are commonplace in today’s world. Over the course of the year, I am learning about my own color preferences in relationship to the circle. Perhaps color observations about our work say as much about us emotionally, as they do our art.

-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, October 30th, 2008

-related to posts: The Void – January Mandalas, Dragon Fight – June Mandalas, Winding Down – July 4th Mandalas, Squaring The Circle — July Mandalas (Chakras & Color), and WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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