My art has always been and I think it will always remain a personal art, and, although, I feel great sadness at the things that are happening in this life, in this world–injustice, wars, floods, earthquakes–it is very hard, for me, to get out of my own head. I’m not a selfish person–I’ve worked all my life taking care of other people. I’d be a nurse even if it paid nothing–which for many years it did (pay nothing). I’ve come to believe that the personal is the true essence of art and that, perhaps, even the “Big Art” that we have come to think of as important is, really, just one individual’s voice. I began “When The Flowers Return To Fukushima” ten weeks ago and worked on it almost daily. In the beginning something didn’t feel right about the drawing. It seemed arrogant on my part to try and depict a tragedy that I didn’t personally experience. I fell in love with the wall murals I had seen in Kyoto and wanted to pay homage to that style. What I didn’t understand was that the Japanese masters who painted those wonderful murals had a unique understanding of space and its relationship to the object. I no more could understand that relationship then, perhaps, they could understand my intimacy with messiness and chaos. The picture, for me, was an unsettling combination of someone else’s art, my art, someone else’s experience and my experience. In the end it didn’t feel true–I tore it up. I’ve destroyed drawings before but this time it was different. I learned so much from this drawing. I spent so much time with it. Some pieces are transitional, but this drawing was so much more than a bridge to something else. Today I woke up and knew something had changed inside me–I am what I am. I can only be this artist–a personal artist, a personal poet. What I’ve come to understand is that The Flowers Have Never Left Fukushima. The Flowers live in the hearts of the Japanese people. The Flowers are their stories and their lives. Thanks to “When The Flowers Return to Fukushima” I’ve learned that art is not so much about “escaping one’s self” as about “finding one’s self”. I, therefore, have come to think that my best drawings and my best poems are those drawings and poems that don’t exist anymore, those drawings and poems that took me to a painful place and brought me back again to the reality of who I am and what I can accomplish in this life. Thank you, to everyone who takes time to visit and follow this blog. You are few but mighty and I, certainly, aprreciate your support!