Monday, March 22, 2010

Getting Perspective

I began today (after returning from my exercise class) by drawing, copying photographs I’d clipped months ago from the New Yorker. These were black and white portraits of famous people, so I selected several and made pencil sketches.

After completing three drawings (all government officials: President Obama, Prime Minister Hatoyama, and Secretary General of U.N., Ban-Ki-moon), I switched to pen and colored pencils and created a fairly successful likeness of my new (but secondhand) stuffed Gund rabbit—a gift from a friend for my birthday with the understanding I’d share it with Mae when she visits.

Not feeling particularly successful in my endeavours (but having fun), I finally packed up my pencils and left the room to do something useful (i.e. laundry). When I came back into the kitchen where I’d left my sketchbook, I was impressed with what I saw. Not bad . . . actually, quite good! The drawing of President Obama, in particular, would be recognizable by anyone, I think. Well, maybe not by Republicans . . . but that’s another story.

Inspired by the colored sketch of the Gund rabbit, I decided to look for some watercolor cards I’d done many years ago of my stuffed teddy bears. Wow! These are darling, I found myself thinking. Then I went on to open a file called "vacation watercolors" and looked through maybe a dozen-and-a-half small drawings and paintings done on vacations over the years. I was surprised how good they were. I vaguely remembered being disappointed in them at the time I was painting, but I kept them as souvenirs of the vacations themselves.

That hopeful discovery caused another hopeful thought: Maybe the Healthcare Reform bill, too, is better than I think it is. Our politicians have so tainted any excitement surrounding the passage of this history-making bill, I’ve become completely cynical. Last night, as I watched the votes being cast in the House chambers, I couldn’t help thinking about my parents. How revolted they would be, particularly my dad, at the way partisan games are played by our legislators. I was raised in a household where we admired and looked up to elected officials . . . uh, most of the time. What’s to admire about our politicians anymore? I feel as if I will scream if I let myself listen to any more condemnation of the newly passed bill.

Maybe in a few months we’ll have some perspective on what’s been happening inside the Capitol for the past year, and especially the most recent four months. Maybe . . . in a few months, when we look with fresh eyes at what was accomplished last night, we’ll be impressed. Let’s hope so.

1 comment:

agg said...

I like the hopefulness of this piece... I, too, have mostly felt so disappointed in the bill that I haven't even wanted to study the details -- not unlike the feeling of creating a less-than-satisfactory art project. I'll hold the thought that it might look better over time. Thanks!