“It gripped him: that cross was not the cross of Christ, but the cross of the Ku Klux Klan. He had a cross of salvation round his throat and they were burning one to tell him that they hated him! No! He did not want that! ” Richard Wright – Native Son, Pubished 1940
(Ecuador) – As various towns and cities throughout Ecuador prepare for tomorrow’s Good Friday Procession, I will be tucked away in the cloud forest and hope to finish the above painting.
Re: 2015 Procession — Although I had read and admired photos of Quito’s parade, I experienced a visual shock from seeing thousands of capes and pointed hats/masks that reminded me of Mississippi’s KKK dark history. Last year’s post illustrates my Quito experience. (See: THE IRONY OF COSTUME)
My peers and I grew up in a time of innocence, and I knew ‘of’ the KKK but never witnessed the violence, hatred or intimidation… I well remember the first time I read Richard Wright’s books, and I was instantly ashamed of a past that I knew through topics that were hurriedly mentioned in hushed and embarrassed whispers… The evil reputation of the white-costumed racists never seemed real until his writings seared into my conscience.
Until those hooded figures reopened my wounds, Ecuador seemed far removed from the KKK history; this painting will help exorcise that ‘guilty-by-association’ remorse.
On a much-lighter note, I am compiling a list of birds seen near the houses and ponds on just a tiny slice of the 100+ hectare property. So far there are over 90 species identified by little ole me! Those “UFB” photos will fly your way soon, and I hope that you birders out there can help identify some of the mystery birds.
(Valencia scored for Ecuador, and the crowd in the restaurant went electric!)
It’s time to get back to the property for a mix of birding and painting tomorrow. What will you be doing this holiday weekend?
Happy Easter to all!