TRUTH in the Winter of our Lives

A perfect day to share an image of my work, a winter iteration of TRUTH in the Driftless Region (2012/2013). I made the work for the first Art DTour in 2012, and the Wormfarm Institute. It was autumn and the landscape wonderfully distracting. I was at the end of my 27 year marriage, seeking truth, and the open sky and roving hills of the Driftless Region were the balm I deeply needed. The Art DTour, founded by Donna Neuwirth and Jay Salinas (both wonderful supporters of my work), the Amish youth rolling down a hill in roller blades, harvest all around, the promise of a new art and agricultural collaboration that continues to build community with intentional urban and rural flow, promotes mutual understanding to this day. Until this was included in the Wormfarm’s newsletter last week, I was unaware of this winter view and documentation of the work.

TRUTH in the Driftless Region Luttropp Farm Photo: Mimi Wiest

A part of Wormfarm’s January newsletter:

What a start to the new year.

The U.S. House of Representatives has now twice-impeached the sitting president. However you feel about it, it’s hard to deny the ground is being turned over. Whether that’s a good or bad thing in your mind, it’s definitely a shock to the system.  With all that’s being uncovered, as the consequences of our polarized politics are on full display, we’re thinking of Cathi Schwalbe’s work from the very first DTour. The word truthwas mowed into a green field at Luttropp Farm—beautiful, mysterious and subtle in the fall. But after the DTour, when the winter’s first snow filled the indentation, the word shone clear and stark in the dormant earth.

Truth can be like that: it can take time to see it.”

I share this post from a friend on FB, regarding the truths of our nation, written by Dr. Susan Rogers:

“After reconstruction ended, the Union troops left the south, leaving newly freed slaves unprotected. So the south replaced slave labor with convict leasing, share cropping and Jim Crow laws all supported and enforced through the efforts of the police and government and the enabling of the KKK. Most of the monuments, statues and public buildings named after Confederate leaders were built after Reconstruction ended and were built in the North and South. There were pardons issued by Andrew Johnson for these confederate leaders. Segregation was legally enforced, even in the North, access to government loans were restricted to whites, etc….. So did the south really lose the civil war? Doesn’t seem like they did. There was no punishment, no disenfranchisement, no exclusion. But there was clearly celebration and adoration of confederate leaders and their followers that was embraced throughout the country. This is why it is so necessary that Trump and his enablers, supporters and followers be condemned, punished and called out for what they are. This country has never acknowledged the continued impact of the white supremacist legacy that began even before slavery and continues still. By allowing the perpetrators of the recent Capitol riots to go unpunished we cannot even begin to heal and grow. Trump must be impeached. This is not about democracy. This is about an opportunity to help to begin to achieve the equality that our Constitution talked about but did not really mean. We cannot let this opportunity pass. It will not divide the country, it will be an attempt to make it unified. We have to address the racial divide that exists by punishing those who continue to worsen it. It will not go away with time, it will only worsen.”


We must Help Each Other

Pictured: JB Daniel’s Help Each Other Project Photo: JB Daniel – north location

We are in the Winter of Lives.

Some of us must figure out what kind of nation we want, going forward. On this day of celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King and the National Day of Service, this republic, formed with democratic ideals, has got to figure out what spring will look like. The national dark cloud of lies, the egregious assault we have witnessed, the ineffective and deadly federal response to the Covid 19 Pandemic, the widespread and insidious need to uproot to get at the truths of our nation’s history and become a less racist nation (too many links to mention but my church, for whom I co-chair the anti racist committee for transformation’s page is a great place to start), call each and every one of us to connect, to serve, to stay alert, to take care of each other, to vote for the least of us, and simply to believe our eyes.

Truth has lain dormant for too long.