March madness is everywhere on television, here the river is rising daily, Studio B succumbed to the muddy waters three days ago. My life is now a constant check of river gauges up and down stream from my home. The sound of sump pumps sucking and spewing all at once seems to drown out any birds or signs of spring. Life is full of the unexpected; but this flood like many others is a man made flood. The gate/ pump systems were installed to keep us from flooding when the Yazoo river is high, it would have worked really well except they never installed the pumps only the gates, making us a virtual bowl to retain any water that is coming downstream. Many years have passed and every time it comes up some bureaucrat from some distant state or the EPA shoot it down saying that we are not populated enough to save. The EPA says it will harm the wildlife to pump the water out when it floods, they are wrong, plain and simple the proposed pumps were designed to only pump out to a certain level which would only keep the homes and most of the farmland dry, the wetlands here would remain very wet. If anyone would ever come here and see the degradation the last few years have had on wildlife they would change their thinking and strategy on the pumps.
As always my work is mirroring my life. The rising waters have invaded my daily life, my sleep, and my paintings. I find when I paint, I enter another world that is only tinged with my life experiences, they come in and out of my work weaving it like a fabric that somehow covers me,although it insulates and simultaneously smothers me. I find it such an enigma, this is what keeps me working everyday and dreaming of working every night.
Before the flood I painted LongBoats Peaceful Journey, I had no idea this was coming or that Frank and I would save a deer’s life during this trying time. I will remember that day till I die. It was a gift in the midst of this catastrophe.
Later as the flooding waters have risen, I have checked river gauges several times a day only to see the rising persists for us. I feel somewhat helpless against the water but not helpless on how I go from here. I know that as in art every stroke is a problem that has to be dealt with in the next stroke so I will face each heartache with thoughts of rebuilding and repairing the damage to make it even stronger and better. In this latest piece I am working on, I chose the largest canvas I had here, to express the enormity of this flood and what it has done to daily life here. The figure is above the flood, as I hope to keep myself.
Thank you for reading my blog. I hope it is in some way helpful to you on your journey. I wish to send peace and love to everyone. A very special thank you to everyone that has been so supportive of my art. I also want to thank everyone that is praying for all of us in this flooded area, as well as everyone in the other flooded areas of our country. I don’t think I have ever realized when I prayed for others how much they truly feel it, it has given me great strength and a better attitude to face this today and in the days to come.