Saturday, December 29, 2007

"Right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant"

Martin Luther King said so much more than "I have a dream". "Right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant" were his words that spoke to me most strongly when I visited the Martin Luther King Memorial recently in Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco. The visitor follows a path behind a waterfall flowing from high above, actually getting misted depending on the direction of the breeze. Behind the waterfall are several large plaques, beautifully carved with quotes from Dr. King in English on the top. Each plaque has a translation into a different language below the English. Reading the quotes literally from behind the rush of flowing water was a powerful experience.

As we are entering a New Year with yet another tragic assassination, that of Benazir Bhutto, may we take hope anew from the words of Dr. King: "Right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Missing Peace Project

I was fortunate to see The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama, at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on my recent visit to San Francisco. It is a multi-media art exhibition that brings together 88 respected artists representing 30 countries. With the full life of the Dalai Lama as inspiration, the intention for this project is to shift the world's attention towards peace.

Check out their website at, for a virtual tour and further info!

One of the most uplifting pieces for me was a continuous video loop by Marina Abramovic called At the Waterfall. Between the years 2000 and 2003, Abramovic collected 120 video portraits featuring the prayers of monks and nuns representing five Tibetan Buddhist traditions. All of these videos are projected simultaneously on a large wall with the sound of the overlapping prayers from different monasteries resembling a huge waterfall. Low red canvas chairs face the wall, so the viewer sits close to the floor, in a room darkened except for the wall of looping video. May I never forget what it felt like to be enveloped and transported by the cascade of sound...