THE STORY OF “WALLS”
As a story teller, I come from four generations of journalists. We were raised with a keen awareness of our fellow human beings and encouraged to reach out with understanding and compassion to anyone in need. We learned to question the status quo, to protest the indignities and cruelty we witnessed around us.
This current series is called “Walls” and addresses the difficulties and challenges so many suffer in our confused and lonely world. These are the invisible people: lost boys, run-away girls, abused and trafficked children or battered women, veterans of foreign wars, mentally ill elders. Many are homeless. Their walls are built from illness, heartbreak, fear, war, or poverty. Some live or work with us in our community and we have no idea how desperate they really are.
Some of the faces I draw are actual people I have met or seen, at Starbucks, hiding in the woods in Los Alamos, living in their cars in the library parking lot, or sitting on a dirty sidewalk in the city. They live behind bars and locked doors in institutions, and their stories come to me from wardens, chaplains or those in law enforcement. Many are drawn from my own experiences in volunteer work, in prisons, hospitals, soup kitchens, or community outreach.
Some were passed on to me by people who wanted to share their own experiences. Every day we pass these souls on the street, ignoring their lonely isolation.
But I also believe in a world of hope. So some of my stories describe those who overcome the hurdles or break through the walls to find a world of opportunity. If we lose our compassion, we lose our desire to work for change in these turbulent times.
But if we become more sensitive to the heartache and need of those around us, we will find ways to bring healing and hope to a troubled world.
Click image to read accompanying journal piece.