Afghanistan is seeping into my heart. Ever since the Art for Afghanistan campaign launched, I have been welcomed into a community that is filled with genuine affection and open hearts. I have made new cards and new friends with the women from the Farsi-Adult Day Health Care at the Mt Diablo Center. These women once lived in Afghanistan and Iran and moved to the US with their families over the last 30 years. Almost everyone speaks Farsi except for the one word they all know in English...'love'. After card making, that at times was difficult for them to even hold a pair of scissors, each one took me in their arms, kissed me and told me in English that they loved me . Their cards are filled with blessings and wisdom and are bound for Afghanistan on April 13th.
Traveling Postcards has received over 280 new cards to send with Budd Mackenzie from Trust in Education to Afghanistan. Cards came from Marlene Robbins group at The Grace Center in San Jose, from Judy Raneri's artist group in Concord and from our own event at the Fotovision Studio in Emeryville. We have cards from the Soroptimist International 'She's All That' conference where middle school girls from all over Contra Costa County made cards and reached out to girls their own age in Afghanistan. We have cards from Canada , New Jersey and California.
I am so proud of all the women who have stepped into leadership positions and organized card making workshops in their own communities. It is not always easy to bring a new creative process that encourages new ways of thinking and relating in the world. Marlene wrote me of her group "Nearly all immigrated to the US to escape religious and political upheaval in their native countries. About 30% of them have a diagnosis of some form of dementia, from mild to advanced. Several of them are illiterate, but most have at least an elementary level of education. A few were married in their early teens and had started having children by age 15. Many had arranged marriages and many more suffered physical and emotional abuse. Many of them have lost family members and children in wars and political power struggles. Whatever their history, they have adapted to life in the US with the help of their families and loved ones. " Marlene worked beautifully with these women and saw how art truly has the power to inspire and heal when accessed from our heart's wisdom.
We are almost half way to our goal of raising $5000 for our after school art program! Trust in Education will begin making arrangements for art classes to start in May and I can’t wait to share with you photos and stories as our work progresses.
Please consider making a continued donation to support our work. Traveling Postcards is a unique grassroots organization that creates opportunities for everyone to be fully expressed and to take action towards ending isolation and invisibility for those whose voices have been silenced.