mission statement

I thought that since I am offering what are in fact my ideas about the world in picture-form, I should also include a statement explaining my motives - in case anyone wants to know.

I thought this story might be a good beginning...

Not long ago I went to visit my grandmother in a nursing home. She was in the beginning stages of alzheimers, and though she could remember the name of the small town in Russia where her older brothers and sisters were born, she could not remember what had happened in the last twenty minutes. I quickly discovered that if I asked her the same question four different times, a few minutes apart, I'd get four different answers. But an interesting thing happened when she asked me a question - there was really only one.

"So Terry, what are you doing?" my grandmother asked.

"Oh, lots of things," I said. "I'm writing my socially-conscious stuff, and I've got a bunch of new songs so I've been spending a lot of time recording. But I've also started painting - so I'm doing socially-conscious art to go along with my socially-conscious songs, now."

She looked at me, a bit confused. "What does that mean - socially-conscious?"

"It means conscious-raising - basically trying to get people to think about certain things. Social issues."

"Oh - O.K.," she said. "That's nice."

5 minutes later

"So Terry, what are you doing?" my grandmother asked again.

"I'm writing and working on my music - and I'm thinking about putting my art on t-shirts and seeing if the world will want to buy them."

"O.K.," she said, with a small smile. "That's good."

5 minutes later

"So Terry," my grandmother asked again, "What are you doing?"

"Well, I'm writing quite a bit, recording my new songs, and I'm painting now."

"O.K.," she said. "Good."

5 minutes later

"So Terry, what are you doing?"

"Oh, same ol' stuff, grandma - I'm still writing and painting and working on my music."

"O.K.," grandma said. "That's nice."

5 minutes later

"So Terry," my grandmother asked for the last time, "what are you doing now?"

"I'm trying to change the world, grandma," I said, laughing even at myself.

"How are you going to do that?" she said. "You're just one person. One person's never been able to do that."

I didn't say anything else. I thought about Martin Luther King. But I didn't want to compare myself to such a great man, to think that I could do what he did, or to even defend the possibility of being able to effect any sort of change on this planet when I knew she would not remember anything I'd said three minutes later. But I thought about how one person gets the support of another and then one becomes 2, two becomes 4, four becomes 8, eight becomes 16, etc. And then it's not just '1' anymore.

But it starts with 'one.'

So, I guess that's me. And you, too???

And that is my purpose. That said, I will add to this notion my belief that if you change just one person - you change the world.

I didn't see my grandmother again in the physical form after that day. She passed away three-and-a-half months later. But grandma, if you're watching, and you want to know what I'm doing, well - I guess it's the same ol' stuff - I'm still trying to change the world.

Or to at least get a little closer to the possibility.

terry alice

email: questions@thequestioneverythingplace.com


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