Nature

The change I go through when i am out in nature is definitely a positive one. Especially when I touch plant life or see a bird. Even on I see every day, like the crowd and lately the red shouldered Hawks.

Coltsfoot

Trout lily

Trout lilies

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Romantic

Today I was able to get a look at some 19th century paintings at Weeks Gallery in Jamestown NY. It’s located on the Jamestown Community College campus where I go to school. Most of them were landscapes by various artists.

This painting is probably by Narcisse Diaz, a painter of the Barbizon school. Many of his paintings show this liminal area on the edge of a forest. If you look closely you can see a woman about to leave the woods.

This painting is by John Crome of the Norwich School.

This is Lake George by G.H.McCord of the Hudson River School. Unfortunately someone who didn’t know how to clean paintings tried to restore the work. This made the painting duller than it should be and thinned the paint. If you see it in person you can see how vibrant it was on the edge

Set and Depression

When discussing how I wanted tattoos eventually I mentioned I wanted one of Set.  The people I was talking to were like, “whoa, are you sure about that?”  After, I tried to explain myself but I just kind of stuttered.  I figured it out on the way back to my suite.

It’s the story of Set and Apep.  According to the story, Set was recruited to protect Ra from Apep. This is because he was the only one strong enough to slay the primordial beast. This he does with a sparrow keeping watch. Once the bird alerts Set, he takes up his harpoon and faces the snake.  Each time Apep is defeated is a new day, if he wins, emptiness.

My depression is this emptiness, stagnation, pain, and sickness trying to consume me as Apep does to Ra. I’m dulled by this but there is enough fight left not to give in again. This Part of me is Set, strong and vicious in my goals. Not fully awake, sometimes in retreat, but there and getting stronger and a learn to cope and maintain my mental health.

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Chechen 100

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Protest in Russia against Chechen Republic’s attack on LBGTQ people. (source: Wikipedia)

I am a member of the Pride club at Jamestown Community College, a club geared toward giving members of the LBGTQ community and allies a safe place. We are going to have a table at the international day celebration on campus, because of this we chose an international issue regarding the community.  That Issue is the the budding genocide taking place in Chechnya.

Chechnya or Chechen Republic is a part of Russia and is located in Eastern Europe. It’s leader, Razan Kadrov, is under the impression that those who happen to be homosexual or anything else other than “straight” are not human and don’t exist in Chechnya.  This is apparently a popular belief in the Republic and has lead to so called honor killings by the relatives of gay and bi men. It’s also led to gay and bi men, being captured and tortured, at least 100 have been murdered, that we know of.  As this is happening to them, the men are housed in what can accurately be called concentration camps.  That’s not to say everyone in the Chechen Republic is okay with it though.

Some of the relatives who have been called to murder their own, are actually family, that  is to say, they love their relatives enough to not murder them in the name of reputation.  Others, both in and out of family groups don’t care what consenting adults do with each other.  Is can’t be sure what they’re doing to help their fellow Chechen and I’m not sure what the international community is doing either.

What I do know is when the news finally got out, reported by the Novaya Gazeta, it was April 1st.  The interior ministry tried to play of the date and called it an April Fools joke. The Russian press secretary said there was no proof that the purge was going on while the Russian LBGT Network has set up an underground railroad of sorts.  Many countries have told the republic to knock it off, so has the UN Human Rights Council, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, among others.  Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands and Canada are allowing refugees to enter, I’m unsure who else.

If anyone has any verifiable information on this, please share.

Thank you

Sources

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/07/03/the-gay-men-who-fled-chechnyas-purge

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_concentration_camps_in_Chechnya#Domestic

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/russia-gay-rights-lgbt-chechnya-persecution-st-petersburg-may-day-protest-a7711531.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/chechnya-gay-men-detain-arrest-round-up-chechen-human-rights-watch-ramzan-kadyrov-a7664486.html

Of Strife and Statues.

Dallas, Texas moved a Robert E. Lee statue which got a bunch of people peeved.  Mostly about heritage, in this case, Virginia’s.   I love history, even the crappy parts, so I can get the ire. Lee is a Confederate general who, out of loyalty to a friend, fought in the American Civil War.

The Civil War is a large, horrific part of American history. It needs to be remembered especially the atrocities like Camp Douglas, Camp Sumter,  Ft Pillow, Lawrence Massacre /mass rape, Centrailia Massacre, Pretty much all of Bleeding Kansas, the list goes on.  That’s not what many of these statues are for though.

Many of the statures were a reaction to the Civil Rights Era(1950-63), erected as middle fingers to civil rights activists.  Some of them are of members of terrorist groups like the KuKluxKlan. Some of the statues are of people who specifically did not want statues because they knew it would cause exactly what’s going on now.  Robert E. Lee is a good example of this.  Apparently forgetting that part of history is okay.

So is forgetting the people that contributed bettering our country and world.  Some of those people actually came from Texas, unlike Lee.   They can erect a statue of people like  Alicia Dickerson Montemayor    or Morris Knight.

The strife over these statues bring awareness of this.  It doesn’t have to be a bad thing but it an inspiring thing.  It can inspire us to memorialize those who have suffered from our mistakes. We can acknowledge those outside of warfare who have contributed. We can visit museums more often and insist history books accurately portray history according to archaeological evidence.

Even if we don’t like it.

 

Death of Argus

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This painting by Ubaldo Gandalfi has to be one of my favorite images of Hermes.  I feel that it captures his personality as I see it.

It depicts Hermes (as Mercury) about to kill Argus. This was to free Io, who was turned into a cow by Zeus or Hera(the cow near the foot close to the edge). She was one of Zeus’ lovers and former priestess of Hera.