In a December 2016 column entitled, “Notes from the Resistance,” journalist and author Summer Brennan observes that it’s impossible to respond to all the current threats to what we hold dear:

“What we must do, instead, is to find our particular hills to defend, and then to defend them as if our freedom depended on it…

“Get a diary or journal and write down as many words as you can that relate to the things that you value. Fascism favors sameness; it represents a desertification of language and thinking. You can fight sameness with diversity. Inside this thought-desert, we must learn to be jungle oases. If you plan to defend nature, write down the names of birds and landscape as a start. Write phoebe, warbler, wren, heron, starling, swift, swallow. Write dale, dell, coppice, coomb, swale, swarth.Let your language soar and spread. Get closer and write root, leaf, stem, stamen, stigma, filament, sepal, pistil, petal. Write down how the world and words around you change.”

In response, I chose to paint a (more-or-less) weekly sketch of a child and post it to

Twitter under the hashtag #AllOurChildren. In February, I began adding a statement about the things All Our Children deserve: adults they can respect and count on; safe and secure homes; clean water.

It’s an artistic exercise in loose, expressive line and wash, but more significantly, it’s a practice of naming what I care about most, the “hill” I choose to defend.



 

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