Thursday, August 18, 2016

Fellow Travelers Represent you, me and the Average Joe Blow

"Auburn Nights" 16 x 20 Oil on Canvas, framed
I saw a lot of colorful people on our vacation; first in the airplane, and then at the places we visited. What stories they could tell. And yet, we are all so alike. As we worried about our plans to deplane and whether to stay on board or go out for an hour to walk, eat and relax.
The woman a few seats down expressed the same concerns. 

The catch, we all agreed was the required removing of our luggage from the plane and then having to again re-board. We all made a group decision to escape for awhile in exchange for waiting in line a brief time before reclaiming our original seats.

Across the aisle, a man in his sixties captured my attention as he read an actual book rather than a Kindle. How did he read such small print? His gray hair was pulled back in a ponytail hanging down his back. His face was covered in a scruffy short beard and mustache; a new retiree perhaps heading for Florida?
"Window on Pine Island" 16 x 20 Oil on WrappedCcanvas
A red-headed young woman on my right hovered over a hand-held device playing a game. She didn’t say a word the whole flight. Finally she buried herself in a shroud of covers and went to sleep for the duration. When she awoke, I was stunned to see that her lips and jaw protruded far beyond how the average young girl might look. Later, my husband described her as looking “old for her age.” When it was time for her to leave, my heart went with her.

On the airplane, people of all colors, shapes and sizes laughed, talked, slept or read; each adapting peaceably to their surroundings. In this setting, it was hard to imagine that any would seek war or choose to maim, kill, or jeopardize the safety and well-being of others. And yet we read about this happening almost every week. We wonder about the mind-set of those who are capable of such atrocities.

"Blending In" Acrylic on Canvas
(We saw a few of these in Redwing, MN)

We are always on guard. When the airplane finally puts up its wing-flaps and the craft slows, we breathe easy that we’ve almost made it. Prayers of gratitude are mumbled. The passengers collectively brace themselves as the plane hits the runway. They apply imaginary brakes together and sigh when the plane makes its way to the gate.

For the length of this flight, the people have smiled politely at one another, gone out of their way to be courteous and respectful, even assisted with luggage when necessary. Where are the violent protesters and the mobs that create chaos and harm to law enforcers and business owners? Where are the bullies who wreak havoc on others? Who ignites the spark that sets off a chain reaction of destruction? What is their agenda?

My friends it is lawbreakers, gangsters, international syndicates, terrorists; and unfortunately, our local, state and national officials. For their own nefarious purposes, they set ablaze communities, instill fear and anger, destroy law and order to gain power over people, and the control of city and national power structures. 

When the party is over, they scatter like rats. Disguised as innocents, they offer money and support as they feign ignorance over cause and effect. And they get away with it! Not only do they play deaf and dumb, but they blame someone or something else for the carnage.

There are stories to be told, all right. But the tales are not about average people who go about living their lives in peace; who work and play, travel and contribute to society and in their neighborhoods. The bigger story is about corruption in government, about power-hungry ideologues who seek world dominance, and about why the people who elect them are willing to ignore their dishonesty and the stench that goes on right under their noses.

"Americana" 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas, in barn wood frame