Tuesday, May 6, 2014


Becoming lighthearted Lori - 

In our work in Alternatives to Violence project ( AVP) We take adjective names, it needs to be something positive, something we are working towards. I am working towards becoming light of heart. My heart leans towards heavy, and serious, though it is very much about loving...

One of the exercises we do in prison is to talk about our first experience with violence. We do this with the entire group 20 or so people and 3 facilitators everyone talks one by one. 

One of my first incidents with violence happened when I was three years old. My parents had hired a male baby sitter. I remember being very afraid and stalling when it came time for me to go to bed. Anything I could think of ... 
It turned out later it was not my first experience but my second experience. This boy had baby sat me once before. He raped me both times. My parents knew about the first incident and had been advised by the boy's therapist to give him another chance, and that I would never remember and it would not hurt me. This was in the 1960's; apparently people were complete idiots back then. I don't blame my parents for this; they were very young and trying their best.

I have some things in common with many of the prisoners I met. I have been the victim a lot of violence brought on by men. Many of the guys in prison have been victims of violence starting from birth until it became their way of life. I often ask myself why: why some peoples traumas destroy them; why some people's make them stronger. 

In art school my major was textiles. It was my love of pattern and color that first hooked me. Studying textile art, I learned that most patterns, woven, printed or embroidered held messages about  protection, fertility, marriage status, etc....

Much of my personal art is and has been creating figures, symbols and patterns that I believed could protect people my children, myself and the people I care about.