Friday, June 19, 2009


Panorama by Kara Walker ("Slavery!Slavery! Presenting a GRAND and LIFELIKE Panoramic Journey into Picturesque South Slavery of 'Life at ‘Ol’ Virginny’s Hole’ [sketches from Plantation Life] -- See the Peculiar Institution as never before! All cut from black paper by the able hand of Kara Elizabeth Walker an Emancipated Negress and leader of her Cause" -- cut paper on wall, 12 X 85 ft., 1997, collections of Peter Norton and Eileen Norton, Santa Monica, California)

I slept over ten hours of uninterrupted, restorative sleep last night. It's only now, at 5:00 in the afternoon, that I've realized today is June 19th. A day of triple significance for me.

First of all, it's Juneteenth. I wrote about it last year and will direct you to that post for what I had to say: Juneteenth.

(Bill Barnett circa 1965, Dilley, Texas, age 8)
Second, on this day in 2001, shortly after noon, my little brother Bill died, alone and in horrific pain. I've written about him, too, at William David Barnett. It makes no sense to me that he's been dead eight years.

(Alice Neel. painter, self-portrait)
Finally, it was on this night three years ago that I had my first Ginny Bates dream, the dream that launching writing a book. I commemorated the anniversary of beginning the book in last year's post Happy Birthday, Ginny.

The past is not dead. It is not even the past.


kat said...

Wow, was it really only 3 years ago that you started GB? I read your first draft around, what 8 months later?? Or am I messing up the timeline....

Glad you had a good, restful day. I had a really lovely, luxurious summer day. My friend Celeste took the day off work, and we went hiking in the Tilden/Wildcat Canyon parks. The turtles were out in force, sunning themselves at Jewel Lake.

The poison oak was out in force, too, and I hope I didn't come into contact with any....

I love Kara Walker's work. It's so cool in so many ways. I'm astounded that silhouettes in black paper can be so evocative, provocative and powerful.

May Bill's memory be eternal.
(Eonia i mnimi aftou)

Greenconsciousness said...

and today is the Summer Solstice

I am urging people, especially women, to wear green bracelets in solidarity with our Iran sisters and brothers – will you do it ? And tell others?