• Shana Ritter

Art & War

How often I have wished that what I crafted were notes and melodies – my voice moving through measures. Or, a stroke across a surface, the afternoon light left there by my hand. Or better still the curve of my own body, the bend and reach, a comma pausing.

But it is the written arc that I have been given. I have tried to paint, water color, work with clay, anything that moves directly from hand to air unburdened with the sodden weight of words, measured phrase, stumbling letters. Yet, even in this clumsy form there are those rare moments of flow, moments of clearness, where there is no division and it all becomes just what it is, breath.

I have just come from a walk between trees and quiet, a delightful cool summer morning, a gift. The headlines, as it has for weeks now, leave me without words to respond to a world gone mad yet again, like the image in The Scream, a mouth open with nothing and everything being said. The unimaginable is all too real and no amount of beauty or baring witness to violence halts the horror of so many lives lost, so many taken, so little air left to breathe in the wake of rockets and missiles -wars, the unbalancing weight of death tolls and the very notions of right and wrong beyond the wrong of infliction and the right of compassion.

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