Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Every Day in May #4- A Powerful Book

So far, all of my gratefulness entries in my Gratitude sketch journal have been pretty lighthearted, but today I was pondering gratitude for something much more simple yet important- something that most of us take for granted every day- having our basic needs met, and being safe and free from oppression.

I just finished the short biography Night last evening by Elie Wiesel, who won the Nobel Peace Prize, as well as other many other impressive awards and medals. His name is truly synonymous with the word "survivor," He lost his entire family in the Holocaust, and would have died also at age 16, if not for the liberation of the death camp at Buchenwald on April 11, 1945.

I have read books and seen movies about the Holocaust, but when I visited the National Holocaust Museum last month and saw the most incredible exhibit there, I felt like I had experienced the information in a much more personal way. I watched the tape rolling while it showed the list of one after one of the over 400 laws that were passed when the Nazis took power, stripping everything away from the Jewish people, little by little. First, things as strange as not allowing them to buy eggs, then requiring their identification with the wearing of the gold star, and then much, much worse.

These people were financially destroyed first, quickly followed by the most inhuman of acts, meant to destroy them mentally and physically, until they had given all they could give. Once that happened, they were either left for dead or were taken to be killed. It is still hard to wrap my mind around the craziness of all of this, and the sheer evilness of it too.

This sketch is vastly different from my last Every Day in May sketch (the one of Spring, and my Gerber daisies. It is much darker.

I used a Micron 01 pen, but penciled in a few lines to help me stay on track. The text was difficult to draw. Being "perfect" is not my forte.

For some reason, as I did the dark hatching and crosshatching, the drawings of Edward Gorey popped into my head. Maybe it was just all that black crosshatching.

Night made me sad as I read it, but it also made me very grateful to have the life I live.


Ann said...

Lori, I really like all of your EDinM posts here. I read Night a long time ago and it is a powerful book. We seem to have daughters who dance in common! And I, too, have been thinking about moving beyond my comfort zone with pencil and jumping into ink and watercolor - two media I have a hard time with. You have done so wonderfully well with all of these - I look forward to seeing more :)

Shelly McC said...

Greta drawing!

Roshanda said...

What a wonderful drawing!

Sandy said...

Such a lovely post - and your theme is Perfect for this month of renewal (in the north hemisphere anyway)

ffyrebird said...

A very moving and powerful post.

windblown said...

I was able to go to the museum not long after it opened. The shoes are what got to me too. Even to this day every time I think about them it brings tears to my eyes. Enjoying your blog. thanks for posting