Change the World, Life Stories


I don’t like to look at the news because I don’t know what to do about it. I don’t believe in trying to change other people’s ways, but instead, change my own.  I talk about others reaching their highest potential, but what do I have to show if I have not reached mine? Maybe I’m a tree, always growing and growing and growing, and “highest potential” is like the sky. And like the sky, it never ends.  But growing and changing is our choice, it’s something we do actively and passively at the same time. But sometimes we are jolted into something new…

A few weeks ago I was driving and listening to NPR and I heard for the first time about the missing students from Iguala.  Still didn’t know of Ayotzinapa.  In my studio painting, I turned on NPR again and heard more about the students, but hadn’t caught on to what happened exactly.  More missing people in Mexico.  That damn war on drugs!  I don’t know what to do so I keep painting.  Next day I did not turn on NPR, instead I chose to “zen out” and listen to music.  Gotta stay in my peace bubble.  But since I don’t boycott Facebook, I kept seeing Ayotzinapa.  I finally decided to google it.  I read several articles, thinking “holy shit”. (I think I got hit by an Ayotzinapa meteor straight to the chest!) My whole life scaled down and went into the background, as I watched Mexico stand up, wave after wave.  Holy shit! 

I have dreamed of Mexico being free for as long as I can remember.  Today Mexico is turning itself upside down, and I’m Upstate watching from a distance, as if with binoculars. Holy shit.  I don’t know what to do except what I am doing now, share my thoughts (but that’s what I always do).  Nothing has changed except the subject of which to talk on.

I picture the women who loved (and still love) the men who have been kidnapped, killed & tortured. I picture their broken hearts and my heart breaks too.  I wish I could send them a big bucket full of all my understanding and heal their wounds. I wish I could dedicate Chiquitita to them–Spanish and English versions for they both say exactly what I want to say.  As I listen to these songs, I sit down and let my soul weep great big sobs for so much grief.

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