Overwhelmed: for days, it was the only word I could utter to describe the events of the week. Three cities, seven murders, more injured. If you did not drop to your knees in pain, I don’t see how you could have been paying attention.

I watched the news until I could not take it any more. I went to Facebook to bear witness with friends in some way and try to make sense of the unthinkable until we realized that love is love, and we miss Martin Luther King, Jr.

I also removed a number of online acquaintances for their racist, xenophobic diatribes; people have the right to say whatever they want, but I don’t have to read it. I called my mother and asked her about 1968. I buried my face in my dog’s shoulder and cried.

I want to write something wise, I wanted it badly, but again, only one word ever presented itself: overwhelmed. Then I saw this: Natasha Howell FB Post

You may have seen this post as well by now—it’s spread like wildfire online. No wonder. It’s the Golden Rule at work. It’s the better angels of our nature in action. I don’t know why we need to be reminded of it so often.

But I do know that this simple story has been an important moment of clarity for tens of thousands of us who are grieving. These were exactly the words I needed to read, and they got me out of my chair and into the studio so I could start to process this pain.

Black Blue Red_July 2016
“Black Blue Red: July 2016″ Acrylic, 24″ x 36”

Seven blood-red squares for seven lives lost. These are our country’s colors this week, like a flag that’s been burned in battle.

As I write this, we’re a week away from the RNC Convention in Cleveland and two weeks away from the DNC Convention in Philadelphia. I am hoping there is peace, I am praying the violence is over.