The above portrait is Lek’s and Paan’s young son, Manu, who has cleverly learned how to sneak into my studio, opening the door himself, bringing with him his joyful laughter and playfulness. He’s sitting on the bench by the window, looking into the camera from his sacred innocence, trusting everything and everyone. I try to remember when I was not yet three years old when the world was a box of brightness to open. Did I—does he—worry about the uncertainties of life? Mercifully, no.
Looking at his expression, I’m reminded of a project I did in the early 1990s as an artist-in-residence, working with a high school class in Port Townsend, Washington. I encouraged them to consider doing a collaborative work to express something collectively passionate to them. They relished the idea. Weaving photography, painting, poetry, and music, they created a multi-media slide-dissolve presentation. They entitled it: ‘What Are We Leaving The Children?’ It was an absolutely compelling gift of creative imagination by the young about the world they inhabit, wondering what it will be like for their children and their children’s children.
“Each one of us is connected to all of us and to all living and non-living things. In the luminosity of understanding, we teach our children to blossom in this light. We teach them to unfold with compassion and tolerance. We teach them of things good and things bad in the ways of the world. We teach them to believe in themselves, to believe in hope. And then we must trust them with everything.” from Panom
“This planet is our home. We have only one, and it belongs not to a few humans or a group of humans, not to one race or religion over another; nor even one species more so than another. This Earth, this living orb of critical synchronicity, symbiosis, and reciprocity, spinning through the Universe, breathes for all of us.” Kados
Be safe. Be strong.
Blessings from the River,
Panom, Manu, Kados, and Galen