Prayer for September 11, 2001

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Sep 112016
 

Prayer for September 11, 2001 drawing by BZTATPrayer for September 11, 2001

Dear God,

Today a part of my land

And a part of my people

Was reduced to a cloud of

Smoke, rubble and dust.

As the pain and dust linger,

Please help me to join hands

In peace, not rage,

With other spirits

Who seek to rise above.

 

I wrote this prayer in my journal on September 11, 2001. I created the drawing a couple of months later. It took me awhile to to recover my artistic balance after my world was so seriously shaken that day.

Each year, I post this prayer and drawing here on my blog in hopes that peace will overcome the rage that fills the hearts of many.

I am still hoping.

We always say we will never forget. My hope is that, someday, we will arise as we remember.

Today, 15 years later, I again join hands with kindred spirits. I remain hopeful.

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

 

Why #Imwithher.

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Jul 292016
 
Hillary Clinton #imwithher art by artist BZTAT

Art by BZTAT

I don’t often get political on this blog. Most of my artwork revolves around pet themes, so my writing here typically follows similar paths.

Today I am changing my norm. It is a historical day, and I feel that my art and my words need to acknowledge it.

It is a historical day because, for the first time in history, a woman has been nominated by a major political party as their candidate for president of the United States.

Let that sink in. A woman has been nominated by a major political party as their candidate for president of the United States.

She has been reviled. She has been castigated. She has been falsely accused of everything under the sun. She has been publicly humiliated for deeply personal family problems, then, ironically, she has been criticized for clinging to her need for privacy.

But she has prevailed. And #imwithher.

I have followed Hillary Clinton for many years. I have held admiration for her stands on healthcare, worldwide women’s rights, gun rights and many other issues. I was a therapist for children for 20 years, and I personally saw the impact of her efforts to get healthcare and other needed services for families. I cherished my copy of “It Takes a Village” for its wisdom and its prescience.

I have not liked everything about Hillary, but she has been on the correct side of the values and issues that matter most to me for a long time. She served as a United States senator and as the United States Secretary of State with honor and dignity. She managed to work with disparate parties to get things done on a national and a world stage. These are no small accomplishments.

Despite all that she has done, she has faced unbelievable criticism. Her motives have been questioned, and because she has done so much, she has been criticized for being an “insider”. Although her accomplishments have been awe-inspiring, her voice is considered “shrill” by some, and thus, her oratory skills have been pilloried.

But she has prevailed. And #imwithher.

Hillary has had an upward climb for everything she has gained. Even though she may have had privileged access in some circumstances because of her FLOTUS role, she has faced fierce opposition at every turn. She has endured criticism that no male candidate would ever face, yet she has continued to stand tall and march on.

Yes, she is a politician. Yes, she is an insider.  But as such, she has built coalitions and led people towards mutual goals. As much as we may despise it, that’s what it takes to create lasting change on a grand scale.

Hillary Clinton fits no ideal in the minds of Americans. She is a 69 year old woman who bears the scars of battle and carries the girth that most women gain as the years pass. She wears awkward pantsuits, and she sometimes fails to fuss up her makeup and hair. She is not “human enough” for some flashy TV commentators, and she is not hip enough for the Twitterverse.

But over time, she has prevailed. And #imwithher.

I like Hillary, because she has fought long and hard for causes that matter. She has absorbed herself in the details that most of us disdain, because someone had to do it, and because she was good at it. She has not led with her own personality as some would like her to do, rather, she has led by mobilizing others towards important concerns. She has focused on what mattered, and not on prettying herself up for the cameras.

Whatever her motives, and whatever her purposes, Hillary has worked tirelessly for the common good. As opportunist as some may call her, she has earned more grief than she has gained pleasure or undeserved power. Even so, she has a track record of accomplishment that few can match.

Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, she is not the Claire Underwood character from House of Cards that she has been portrayed to be. She is not a conniving and selfish female caricature whose singular focus is power. Whatever her motives, she has committed herself to service, and she has many people standing by her and thanking her for it.

And despite all, she has prevailed. And #imwithher.

Hillary Clinton has faced down the bitterest of critics and she is still standing. Not only is she still standing, she is continuing to fight for what she believes is right. She is uniquely talented with the political skills that perhaps we all hate, but the ones that it takes to get things done. Lets not be naive. Our next president needs to be able to work within the system our founders created, and she needs to be able to enlist the support of others to do it.

That is why #imwithher, and why I am committed to helping her to prevail in November.

I feel strongly about Hillary Clinton as a candidate on her own merits. My desire to see her win the presidency, however, is heightened by the frightening possibility of her opponent winning. In my 54 years on this earth, I have never before witnessed a candidate presenting danger to the presidency like Donald Trump does. I have disliked candidates before, and I have feared the directions that their policies might take us. But I have never seen a candidate whose behavior is so reckless and whose ideas are so far away from our country’s values.

Hillary Clinton MUST prevail in November. 

#Iamwithher. I hope that, even if she is not your ideal candidate, you will find it within yourself to vote for her to.

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT

Is art a luxury or is it something we need right now?

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Jul 142016
 

heart rainbow painting by Artist BZTATIt would seem that enjoying art during the tumultuous times that we have experienced in recent days would be a luxury. Is art a luxury?

There is so much anguish and so many deep seated problems facing our culture right now. How does enjoying art fit with that?

First of all, art is not just for enjoyment. Art is a part of our culture – the expressive part – that gives image and voice to shared experiences.

Art can raise awareness and rally people to a cause. It can give us iconic images that reveal the nuances of an issue, and it can point out the incongruities in our purposes and actions. Without creative expression, social movements would likely blow away in the wind.

Even so, enjoying art simply for the sake of enjoying it is not frivolous either.

We need reprieves from the strife. Sometimes we need to turn off the news and enjoy quiet beauty to refresh our sense of goodness in the world.

And sometimes, buying a piece of art during a time of important change can bring more meaning to the moment when you look back upon it in the future.

Artist Gwen Seemel says art is not a luxury at all. In fact, it is an essential part of who we are, and we cannot live without it. I agree with her.

We spend considerable amounts of money on many things that are not absolutely necessary for survival. Because we consider these things as part of our daily lives, though, we do not consider these expenses frivolous. Cable TV. Video games and mobile apps. Stylish cloths. Home decor. Gardening and lawn care. Alcohol and snacks. The list goes on and on. We spend lots of money on a variety of items that we do not absolutely need.

But how often do we buy original art?

We experience art regardless of whether we purchase it outright. Often we consume art via television or other mass market publishing outlets to get our creativity fix. It costs more to buy original art directly from an artist, though, so we consider it a luxury.

Why is it more necessary to purchase things that are mass produced by corporations than it is to buy authentic creative expressions from an independent artist?

Watch the video below and see if you still think art is a luxury. And think again before you pass up that artwork you really love but think it is too much of a luxury for you.

The painting above is for sale. Regular price is $100, however, you may purchase it for $75 for a limited time. Discount ends Friday, July 15 at 12:00 AM EDT.

“Heart” $75.00 Acrylic Painting on Wood 12″ H x 16″ W US Shipping – $25 Intl – $45

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See other paintings by BZTAT for sale here.

Art is not a luxury. from Gwenn Seemel on Vimeo.

Life is an Adventure!

BZTAT