They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin
Education is our only political safety. Outside of this ark all is deluge. – Horace Mann
Our obsession with protecting ourselves makes us less safe. – Eve Ensler
We live in uncertain times. That’s all we can be certain about, really. And during uncertain times, we experience fear enough to cause us to put up walls and shut things out in an effort to feel more safe. Of course, these kinds of walls make creating connections difficult, make creating art difficult. In group, we asked ourselves: “What is safe? What does it feel like? What threatens our safety? What do we hold out or hold in?”
We illustrated images of our own safe spaces and wrote on the concept of safety. Thankfully, the writers in our circle did not shut themselves in or each other out. Within the safety of the circle, we were able share our words and the kindness of witnessing silence. Their words, freely and safely offered, are below.
A PIECE OF OURSELVES
At a certain level we all know that yelling cannot be stopped with yelling. Fighting is only ceased when those at odds lay their weapons down completely. Security is not achieved by locking someone away behind cement walls. No color, no voices to save the mind. Security makes a madness of mankind.
I remember helping at a daycare. Heavy in my late pregnancy. Across the room, a small boy held a tonka truck tightly in his hand. Waiting to strike it over the head of another boy in front of him. I was too slow to get up and stop him. Yelling would not have saved the day. I did not think but to say, Aba Yo-Yo. A childhood tale rose to my lips and I told the story of the dancing giant. The tonka truck hit the floor as all came around to listen. Continue reading