I’m holed up in my studio on the outskirts of Charlottesville on the anniversary of the Unite the Right rally which brought armed white supremacists, Nazis, and other hate-based groups into our little town and caused havoc. This year, in an abundance of caution, Charlottesville is completely shut down from 6:00pm Friday evening until sometime Sunday evening, with no cars allowed into the restricted radius, and only two pedestrian access points to downtown, with searches of body and bags. Memorial services for Heather Heyer, the woman who was killed by the man who plowed a car into a crowd last year, are taking place. There will be a chorus of 400+ people singing uplifting songs in the downtown pavilion. But mostly, people have shut their shops, left town, or have hunkered down to avoid whatever might or might not happen. So far, nothing newsworthy has happened, except that Charlottesville is getting equated with white supremacy in the minds of the whole nation.
This is NOT my Charlottesville. I very much look forward to voting in November, and working to get out the vote in the lead-up to the election. It is one way to work against all of the voices of hate, and the lies, and the unleashed incivility afoot in our country. But today, while I avoid downtown Charlottesville, what I offer up to you is a soothing video of me throwing a vase in time-lapse. It’s very short, but mesmerizing. It’s what I do. I take a lump of clay and transform it into a vessel, and the process of doing so, over and over again IS my way of staying sane. Peace.