visual images responding to culture

The USA is Slipping into a Dark Place


cropped e-light at the end

The USA is separating children from mothers, fathers and siblings at the southern border. The USA is putting children in detention centers without their family. The USA is depriving children of the security of family, depriving children of the touch of parents, depriving children of the brotherhood and sisterhood of siblings. The USA is sending mothers and fathers back to their country of origin without their children-maybe never to be joined again.

We as a people should be fearful that we as a nation are slipping quickly into a nation who condones atrocities to humanity. Are we listening to the children crying? Are we listening to the mothers moaning? Are we feeling the despair of the father who has lost all sense of hope?

To Drown


The definition of drowning is to die through submersion in and inhalation of water.

On January 30, 2016, a small boy drowned after the boat that he was on capsized in the Aegean Sea. His body washed up on the Turkish coast.  He was wearing socks with little blue cars. He and his parents were fleeing war torn Syria and were trying to reach Europe.

It is winter 2016 in America. We are contemplating the upcoming presidential election. We are worried about terrorism. We are trying to make ends meet. Each one of us has fears and challenges, but none of us has to dress our toddler up in his favorite blue stripped winter hat and take our child on an unsafe boat in order to escape the dangers of war.

America is a country that is rooted in immigration. The words “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”  should be more than a platitude, they should be words that reflect our arm that reaches out to people who seek  refuge from war, poverty, violence and other life situations that make their existence intolerable.  Our acceptance of the” huddled masses” is what has made America great.

When we rescue the drowning from a sea of atrocities we are the America that is a beacon of hope for the “huddled masses” of the world. We are America the Beautiful.

Killing Zone

In The Light of Day

In The Light of Day

The Killing Zone is where the enemy is expected to travel.

In the Killing Zone the enemy is isolated and trapped.

The Killing Zone is a place to kill an enemy.

The Killing Zone is a place for the enemy  to die.

Who is the enemy?

Night Cover

Night Cover 24x24 2012 compressed

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow

Is our destined end or way

But to act that each tomorrow

Find us further than today

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (excerpt from A Psalm of Life)

Under the cover of darkness men, women and children risk their lives to be part of the American Dream.

No Tresspassing

Barrier Study

Open the gates and take down the signs.

And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!  

America the Beautiful Words by Katharine Lee Bates,

Rule of Law

A Delicate Balance

Law is neither wrong nor right,

Law is only crimes

Punished by places and by times,

Law is the clothes men wear

Anytime, anywhere,

Law is Good-morning and Good-night

1939 W.H. Auden from Law Like Love

The beauty of America is that we are a country ruled by laws.  America’s laws are made by the people.  America knows that not all laws are always wise and just.  In America there is a process to review unjust/unwise laws.  In America revision is possible, self reflection is honored.  Is it possible that America is at a time in its history that calls for reflection on the laws governing immigration?

The American Pledge


The road is dark and lonely and

the atmosphere is strange and unfriendly.

The job is hard and

the pay is low.

But this is America and

it will get better,

because in America there is “liberty and justice for all.”



Fear eats away at the heart of America.

Fear makes America distrust.

Fear makes America aggressive.

The border fence reinforces the culture of fear.

The fence is a symbol of fear.

America should heed Franklin  Delano Roosevelt’s  words of  wisdom :

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Considering Desperation

Dividing Up space

To be desperate is to have little or no hope. Desperation can cause a person to be reckless. Desperation can  cause a person to risk dying from dehydration,
a gunshot wound or a wild animal attack.  Desperation can cause a person to board  an overcrowded boat and sail across dangerous  waters. Desperation can cause a person to give  his/her savings to a stranger so to be loaded in the back of a unventilated tractor trailer.  Desperation can cause a person to leave the family he/she loves.  Imagine  being desperate. Imagine being so desperate that you would risk dehydration,  being shot, being mauled, drowning, and/or dying from heat stroke. Imagine  leaving your spouse and children behind. Imagine a life so hopeless.

Acknowledging Gain and Loss

The Crossing

The natural movement of soil is called soil erosion. As soil
erodes it leaves an area barren of nutrients while providing the recipient of
the eroded soil the benefits of more nutrients.

The soil at the USA/Mexican  border is fluid. It erodes through wind and rain. Through erosion, soil that once had
belonged to the USA can belong to Mexico and soil that once had belonged to Mexico can
belong to the USA . One country’s loss is another country’s gain.

Translate this to the erosion of people-the people who immigrate from Mexico to the USA.  When these valuable Mexican citizens migrate to the USA they leave their country barren: barren of  good workers, good people, family centered citizens.
Why is it that America seems not to appreciate the richness of immigration and why
is it that Mexico seems not to fully understand the profound loss they are experiencing?