Category Archives: Illustration

“We’re all just walking each other home”

 

 

“We’re all just walking each other home.” —Ram Dass

Dear Readers,

It’s been a really rough year. We’re still standing-ish.

Most everyone I know (and many more that I don’t), have had a difficult 2017. I won’t list  the  thousands of horrors brought to our country and the world by the current administration. Some of these things, like racism, have never left us. This country was built on genocide and the suffering of millions. But this year, we took a giant step backwards. I’ve been stunned and outraged by the cruelty continuously inflicted on people, wildlife, and the planet. I’ve taken action and hidden under blankets. I highly recommend both: Action as you’re able, and hiding under blankets. Otherwise you’ll burn out. It’s a long struggle. Always has been. Take good care of yourselves. Reading, music, gather around the animals near you. Ours are cats inside, birds outside. Hold onto anything that makes you laugh.

Some memorable things from this past year:

Mudbound —a true masterpiece. Get Out was amazing. The Big Sick was really good, as was Wind River, and the documentary The Center Will Not Hold about Joan Didion. The Handmaid’s Tale (re-read and watched) felt way too close to home. I loved This Is Us on TV and the book Dying by Cory Taylor.

We had some health stuff in our family circle. A dear friend of mine lost her brother. Several people fought cancer and are here. A friend died. She loved her family, her garden, and life. None of it is fair.

I got to see one of my oldest, dearest friends (since age 12) who I hadn’t seen in about 10 years. She was visiting from Israel with her family at the end of summer and had only a few days in NYC. It still sustains me these many months later that we got to hug and sit  and eat and walk and laugh and cry together for 6 magical hours. We stood in the middle of stores, in Times Square, in the busiest  loudest of places, and we talked about our lives and everything fell away.  I’m so grateful for her and our friendship over miles and years.  It helps so much to have real friends. This past year I was able to reconnect with several and I feel lucky.

Today in 1999, my husband proposed to me. 18 years in a flash. Thank goodness we’re  still here together. Too many people don’t get a chance to grow old with the person they love.

In the past few days, the sad news about the death of justice warrior, Erica Garner, may she rest in power; she lost her life at a tragically young age, leaving behind a brokenhearted family and community.

We must all fight on for each other’s humanity. Please keep doing the work to resist and dismantle racism, Anti Semitism, Islamophobia,  and all forms of hate which has been unleashed and directed so viciously at already oppressed and at -risk people and communities including immigrants, LGBTQ, People of Color, Native, Indigenous, and First Nations people, the homeless, women, children, seniors, people with disabilities, people living in poverty, and anyone in your corner who needs support and safety.

FullSizeRender

The things I grab onto for hope are the many people I know who are relentless and tireless in the many battles that our country and world face. I’m uplifted by my friends and strangers doing good work all over the planet (past and present).

The writers, artists, musicians, comedians, poets, filmmakers, screenwriters, actors, songwriters, scientists, photographers, lawyers, doctors, nurses, all the activists, peace workers, bird watchers, journalists, environmentalists, dancers, children, gardeners, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and neighbors who persist and bring light, love, truth and beauty here.

I despair as much as the next person. We’re in precarious, insane times. Everything is at stake.  Our hugs are healing. We go one day at a time. My son said this:

IMG_2904

Holiday2017

IMG_2912

I wish you well, and with hopes that you and yours have shelter, food, health, kindness, and love in your life. That your days and nights have enough laughs and magic to keep you going, enough medicine, enough of whatever you need to get by.

Wishing you a bright 2018!

Love & Peace,

Elana

 

 

Snowy night films

Dear Readers,

Two documentary films are going to be on tonight,
Saturday, January 7, 2017 and both are at 8pm.

Life Animated will be on A & E and is a stunningly
beautiful film.

Bright Lights: Starring  Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds will be on HBO.

And…
Here’s our cat watching the snowfall this morning.

15871892_10154761491928449_5528384204886789911_n

Hope all are safe, cozy and warm.

Peace,

Elana

Love & peace for 2017

Dear Readers,

It’s been almost a year since I’ve written here.

Been dealing with lots of health stuff, and so much has happened here and around the country and world. There’s been way too much collective grief, hurt, disappointment, anger, and harm done to children and innocents everywhere. Aleppo, Syria alone makes me question humanity, makes me wonder (again and again) if mercy is only for some and not all. It seems so.

All the pain in the world, in all the corners where lives were cut short, or were ruined, families torn apart, or obliterated. Like no one learns from history and our species
seems hell bent on self and planet destruction.

The many stars, artists, thinkers, humans who left us.

The election.

In the midst of this, and everyone’s individual private or public life battles, people go on and live. Remarkably, people continue working,  laughing, making art, pushing forward. We all do what we have to do to get by, and there’s no way through it but through it. Which sucks a lot of the time. And this year has been difficult for many, and these are extraordinary times. Lots of WTF?! Seriously?! And now what?!

I don’t know about you, but I could do with a minimum three-month long hibernation right about now.

holidays2016

My hopes and wishes for the New Year include love and peace, clean water, fresh air, good food, safety, freedom, justice, more kindness, an end to cruelty of all kinds,  for science and facts to (eventually, and before its entirely too late)  win the day, and for the wildlife creatures and seas and skies to keep on and keep on while we each find our own ways to keep going, be with those we love, and resist  and organize peacefully so we can work to get our democracy back for everyone.

Love,

Elana

 

It is only a matter of time

Dear Readers,

It was only a matter of time before we started seeing increasing racist, bigoted, hateful and aggressive behavior and violence at Trump rallies as his hate speech has always seemed to me that he was  inciting to violence. Comparisons to the rise of Hitler and Nazi Germany have been inevitable.

Last night, an escalation. Brave people in Chicago shut down a Trump rally. On display, exposed for all to see was racism and hatred but also a large number of protesters who put their bodies and lives on the line to oppose and protest Trump and everything he stands for.

At the beginning of March, a peaceful student from the University of Louisville, Shiya Nwanguma, was assaulted by a terrifying crowd filled with racist haters. It could have been a scene from long ago. I found this photo on Shaun King’s Facebook page; a side by side image that speaks volumes. On one side, a student walking through a crowd during attempts to integrate a school in Little Rock, AK, and on the right, an image from the Trump rally. As if time stood still.

Found on Shaun King's Facebook page. Credit to Shaun King and any associated copyrights
Found on Shaun King’s Facebook page. Credit to Shaun King and any associated copyrights

You can read all about this here via Shaun King.

I was deeply disturbed watching the footage of this young women as she made her way through this crowd, pushed, poked, verbally and physically assaulted because of the color of her skin. I was so angry and sad, I couldn’t find the words. Instead, I sat down to draw and paint.

The man in the red hat is Matthew Heimbach who participated in the assault (you can see him quite clearly on camera).  He’s a leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party and is a known white supremacist. The woman at the center is University of Louisville student, Shiya Nwanguma.

Trump has been quoted as saying, “Get them out of here.”

It is long past time to get him out of here.

This is my protest:

"Amerikkka" by Elana Halberstadt 2016
“Amerikkka” by Elana Halberstadt 2016

With love and peace,

Elana