Monday, January 29, 2007

Weekend in Washington

Anti-War March in Washington DC Jan 27, 2007
When my friend Nancy told me she would be in Washington DC I had to join her. We are the kind of friends who inspire each other, and I have been in sore need of inspiration. The weather was brutal. The first day I took the trolley tour and took photos out the window. Twenty degrees and a brisk wind kept me from my usual photographic pursuits. I got a good overview of the historical city, though.

I decided to take advantage of indoor activities and visited museums. I hadn't been to the Women in the Arts, and the current exhibition is book arts, which I love. I walked back through Chinatown and met up with Nancy and her friend Sue who drove us around (yay a car!). We made our way to the Mall, and joined thousands of others in protesting the war in Iraq. I was all for joining the crowd, but once I was there I burst into tears in memory of my son Daniel who died in Desert Storm. On one hand I was so sad for the loss of him, and on the other overjoyed to see so many people supporting the anti-war movement. It was a very emotional event for me. Jane Fonda, Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn all spoke out in favor of bringing the troops home.

After having a bite to eat, and letting the crowds disperse, we headed back to the Capitol building to capture the perfect pink light of the setting sun. Setting up tripods on the sidewalk, we were approached by motorcycle cops, sirens on. We were startled at first, and then taken aback when they told us no tripods were allowed. On the sidewalk! So we packed up and walked up the grounds towards the building to get a closer shot. It took some minutes to notice that there was a line of police surrounding the Capitol, and then the call from a bullhorn to "hold the line"! We turned to see a ragtag bunch of tattooed and dreadlocked antiwar protesters approach the building. There were about thirty of them brandishing placards, chanting, singing and dancing. They retreated quickly, but we were ushered off the grounds with them. So much for that photo shoot. It was interesting to watch the news that night announce that 300 protesters "stormed the Capitol". Yea right.

Washington has the most wonderful museums, and we went to as many as we could. I have a new appreciation for the white paintings of Ryland, and studied again the large color fields of Rothko.

Back home I have received the go ahead for the large abstract I've been working on the past few weeks -- and I'm anxious to pick up a paintbrush.

5 comments:

Mary said...

so sorry about your son...and so glad you got to be with so many people who could share your pain, your joy, your fears and memories. must have been very powerful...

Martha Marshall said...

I'm so glad you were there during the protest marches. It's energizing when you see that you aren't alone. I'd love to have been there waving a big sign.

Emily said...

I'm glad you got to go too. What an emotional feeling. I worry about my cousins daily. Peace should be our goal now...when will the "leaders" get it?

Your white series sounds very interesting...and of course now, I want to visit Washington!

Walker said...

I'm glad I went, too, even though it was wrenching. R

Rudra said...

Good words.