Three weeks. The astounding murals that comprise Windows and Mirrors have been here in Greensboro, NC for three weeks now. Time just sails right on by, especially when you have been as busy as we all have been. We’ve been bouncing from one event to the next, one tour after another. With all this hustle, the countless emails, phone calls and visits, it doesn’t surprise me how much the logistics of the exhibit have consumed me. What does surprise me was that it took me this long to have a true look at the exhibit myself.
My mother drove down from Ohio last weekend. I guess she had listened to me blab long enough about this extraordinary art exhibit and had to see it herself (It also probably doesn’t hurt that she likes sweet tea and it’s impossible to get the good stuff above the Mason-Dixon). She and I visited the Guilford College library together to view the murals. Her response was a wake-up call to me. My encounters with WAM have been so one-sided, so clouded by logistics that I could tell you the exact measurements between each mural but I couldn’t tell you how each one made me feel, how I personally connected with the exhibit. My mother’s tears were an instant reminder of what WAM is all about. These murals are about humanity, they are about the common threads that weave us all together, they are about the differences that allow us to learn from one another, and they are about the resilience of hope and the human spirit. Somehow, somewhere I had forgotten that.
I thanked my mother that day. Her fresh set of eyes prompted me to take a step back and have another look. I was reminded that for many who view this exhibit, these murals are the first encounter with this difficult topic of real people being affected by war. And for those folks who work on issues of war and social justice on a daily basis, sometimes we need a powerful image or a reflective moment to revive our passion and zest for that which we struggle for everyday. I encourage everyone to take a break from the emails and particulars of your day, set aside the Blackberry and think about what is truly important. Just give yourself a moment to remember what you do, why you do it and who you do it for.