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  • Writer's pictureKristi Rauckis

"I Have a Dream"

“I Have a Dream”

18x24” Acrylic Painting – Kristi Rauckis 2020

This painting had me crying the whole way through. It’s rough, it’s raw, It’s the way I dream to see the world. I tried not to get too stuck on the fine painting details and just focus on the emotion of it. Something that definitely stretched me.

We see a man, with a broken wing being mended by another man. His chin being lifted and being pushed up from his foot by two women. Then there are two kids holding hands as they follow their idols helping a man in need. I see the world this way. Where we can all take part in the change that this world is on the path to see. I see angels walking this earth.

“I Have a Dream”

As MLK’s famous speech so powerfully stated.

This phrase has been ringing in my ears louder and louder lately.

You all know why.

It’s been ringing so loud that I haven’t been able to sleep well, I’m crying constantly, and my focus has been more scattered than I’ve ever experienced. My mind is consumed with the events that have taken place.

….and are still taking place.

We wake up to a new tragedy every day. Then punched in the gut with more every hour it seems.

Whether it’s people dying from a disease, unnecessary racism brutality, a vital rainforest being burned down to a crisp, or our precious water ways being consumed by an oil we are too greedy to move away from, or a whole native reservation needlessly being diminished quietly in the shadows.

I am sad.

I am angry.

But I am also still looking toward the new vision. Personally, I think that’s vitally important when faced with adversity. So, this painting is the new vision. Where I want the world to go.

As an artist, I’ve always felt there was a fire within me to paint about worldly and moral topics. But I was scared. Afraid of what people would think about me or see me differently. If what I painted would even make a difference… There was a continuous apathetic block that kept me from truly painting from my heart.

This block disintegrated. After seeing people I love, be in pain over and over again, I woke up. I no longer let this apathy and disempowered energy run me. It’s time to use my voice through paint. This pain came to the surface for all of us to look at. To look at directly into its eyes. To see at the soul level that there is an injustice happening in the world. We are at a level of consciousness that we are ready to leave behind and transcend to a far more loving one.

“I Have a Dream”

I see a world that loves deeply. That embraces, cherishes, and values every life. That respects the planet that gives ALL of our lungs air to breathe. I see a world that when we see something dying and broken, we fix it. We look at our circumstances head on and take accountability for our actions. We don’t just find comfort in the status quo because “that’s just the way things are”. We speak up and take action instead of sitting idly by when we witness something unjust. We don’t wait for outside circumstances to change before educating those around us how to process emotion and love the people of our world. I see us lifting each other up and aiding to mend someone who may have been beaten down instead of leaving them on the cement. I see us being an example for generations to come. I see us being leaders in love. I envision a supportive world that listens and takes a step back when something seems to not be working.

This painting flashed in my mind after an evening peacefully protesting for Black Lives Matter.

Now, let’s not jump on this too quickly, yes all lives do matter. But the Black community needs our attention. They have been wronged, mistreated and beaten down for far too long. I could NEVER understand exactly what they have and are going through, but I still stand by their side. I stand for their value, their respect, their constitutional rights that seemed to have been tossed away for what? Their skin tone? I am so sad that even I, have gone so long without TRULY listening to what’s been happening in the world.

I had the honor to witness one of the peaceful protests.

We walked around the city of Flagstaff, spoke our minds, demonstrated our beliefs and were PROTECTED by the police. I am happy to say that this area got it right. The police allowed us to use our constitutional right to protest and freedom of speech. No protester had an inkling of violence. And neither did the police. In every peaceful demonstration made, they blocked off the streets and made sure everyone stayed safe. Even when a woman stepped into the street to kneel in front of a police car, they just parked and let us all kneel with her.

I am also not against police, I know quite a few of them, and I know they can be amazing people. But that being said, there is something broken in the system that needs changing. That is what I’m rooting for. A system and a mental change toward anyone who is of minority. Our police when in uniform should be unbiased and a protector of all the citizens of their country. And I’m happy to have seen that side of them that night.

I pray that we can get it right this time. That we can finally awaken and listen. That we can no longer be content with the “comfortable” and the “not that bad”. Let’s strive to be the most loving country, to our own citizens of color, to our planet.... our job as people of this country and this earth is to not just let our lives be what a small percentage of people want it to be, we have full control over how we live our lives. If we don’t like something, let’s change it. Don’t just sit with it, subconsciously letting it eat you away just because things are comfortable. I believe every life has the right to be blissful and happy. To be able to experience the greatness that life has to offer. And I’m personally done sitting by while others are in pain.

Let’s use our voices. Let’s respect those who are good. Let’s lift up those who have been mistreated for so many years.

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