The Art of Building Sand Castles

LIFE WITH KIDDOS

There’s something existentially good about bringing your children to the beach.

The beach is a homing beacon, a pulse that corrects our attitudes, a constant. Even the first night, after we’d unpacked the van and made the inaugural supply trip and found a simple supper, even then, something compelled us to walk out on the pier, crossing the high tide below us in darkness, the somber fishermen, their night baited hooks lurking forty feet down, the sea gentle and present and lulling us, back and forth, over and over, transfixed.

A fellow plucked a baby shark from the murky sea. The pup flopped about on the pier’s deck a bit until its new master, a grandfather who seemed preternaturally calm about handling even foot-long sharks, bare-handed it. My children gazed on as he pushed the hook back through and untangled his catch. “Want to touch him?” he asked.

Continue reading “The Art of Building Sand Castles”

In a Different America

OP-ED

In a different America — not necessarily a better or perfect America, just a different one — our country’s reaction to Alton Sterling’s death at the hands of Baton Rouge police might be enough.

In a different America, we would awake to the news of Philando Castile’s death in Minnesota with the same shock we felt when another plane hit the Twin Towers, with the same feeling of dread when Bobby Kennedy was killed, with the same feeling of helplessness when the bomb went off at the Boston finish line.

In a different America, the Republican House caucus would take up the matter of police brutality against African Americans, opening an investigation into this startling trend made public thanks to vigilant citizens and their cell phone cameras. Speaker Paul Ryan would gavel Congress into a special session so that our country might pause together in a moment of silence to remember Alton and Philando and their families, and others who unjustly died at the hands of justice and their families.

Continue reading “In a Different America”

Prince Mural: A Love That’s Gonna Last?

CACKALACK

Sometimes Art Comes and Goes.
In a quiet Southern town, a pair of new murals has shaped the way citizens think about public art.

Of all places, downtown Statesville, North Carolina happens to be home to one of the more inspiring memorials honoring rock legend Prince. The city, a former industrial town in the Piedmont that sits at the intersection of two interstates, has its share of empty buildings mingled in with restaurants and businesses working to revitalize the downtown square.

Virtually overnight this past April the Prince mural, a colorful, spray-painted depiction of Prince on a motorcycle, popped up on the exterior wall of the New South Gallery, an empty store-cum-art space owned by Statesville’s Gordon family that plays host to local artists. Continue reading “Prince Mural: A Love That’s Gonna Last?”