Graphing My Geography: Part 3

Read Graphing my Geography: Part 1 here

Read Graphing my Geography Part 2 here

Upon my return to Athens, I took a job at Wolf Camera selling photofinishing to get back on my feet. Finally, I decided to finish college. However, I had conditions. I would only do it if I could do a double major, Photography and Digital Media. It all worked out, and that is what I did. In 2002 I graduated with 2 B.F.A.’s. The 10 of Pentacles Movie below illustrates the wedding of my photography, Adobe Photoshop, and Flash Animation skills.

In August of 2001 I went to visit a dear friend of mine, Helen George, who owned a percentage of an apartment building, off of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.  I fell in love with New York, and despite the events of the following month, I was determined to move there once I graduated. An apartment came open upstairs from my friend, and I moved to New York.

Patty in Bronx Apartment by Beth Thompson

Patty in Bronx Apartment by Beth Thompson

At this point in my life had a great deal of rage. When I moved to New York in June of 2002, it was during the build up to the Iraqi War. I got swept up into the activist community, which was the best possible thing that could have happened to me. The activism gave me a constructive outlet, an appropriate outlet, for all that rage.  For 2 years I poured out my rage on the streets of New York and also in DC. I marched. I sang. I shouted. I lost my voice.  And the week after I held hands for peace with 1,000 women around the White House, we went to war anyway. And I grieved. I grieved that I had failed to prevent a war, and I grieved with a community of people who were grieving the same thing.

Code Pink DC Kaleidoscope Photo by Beth Thompson

Code Pink DC Kaleidoscope Photo by Beth Thompson

When there weren’t big marches, I was often working with the community gardens of New York City, especially those in the Bronx neighborhood of Melrose. I was squatting down to weed one day, with my tattoo showing, when this guy got all weirded out and wanted to know how long I had had the tattoo and when I got it. I told him, and he said there’s someone you have to meet.

Courtland Garden Exit © Beth Thompson

Courtland Garden Exit © Beth Thompson

Her name was Arianne Burgess, ( http://caminodepaz.org/ ) and she was a labyrintista. Her art was building labyrinths in the earth. She had been commissioned after 9/11 to build a labyrinth in Battery Park for Peace. It’s in the Jerusalem Grove there, and last I heard, it had been made permanent. Each month on the New Moon she led a walk through the labyrinth for peace. I remember she said that peace wasn’t static, like sleep. It was dynamic, a moving living thing. It was work. While those walks allowed me a reprieve from my angst, it was always temporary. She would tell me to stay on the Path of Peace when I left the labyrinth. However, I would quickly loose my way.

Labyrinth for Peace, Jerusalem Grove © Beth Thompson

Labyrinth for Peace, Jerusalem Grove © Beth Thompson

Between protesting, gardening, and biking everywhere across Manhattan and the Bronx, I failed to take care of my basic needs, for rent, bills, and most especially, food and rest. I had no economic stability, or emotional stability to sustain the life I was living. It caught up to me, and once again I returned to home, to the place that always has provided for me and sustained me and renewed me and refilled me, Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Read Graphing my Geography: Part 4 here

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One Response to Graphing My Geography: Part 3

  1. Pingback: Graphing My Geography: Part 2 | Beth Thompson Photography

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