Kindness. Contemplation. Creation. Connection.
On July 24 I received another lovely Email from Stephanie and Frank of Visual Ovation. The Kindness Flag Project is evolving and has inspired them in their work with a cause they have dedicated themselves to: HIV/AIDS patient support. With Stephanie’s permission, I’ve posted excerpts of our Email correspondence. It’s heartening to know that this little project has moved on like dandelion seeds scattered in the wind, and has taken root where it is inspiring and nurturing others.
Wouldn’t it be great to know who made some of these flags? It would be interesting to hear what they were thinking about when they created them. If there is anyone who can identify the flags, please let me know!
And now, without further ado, I hope the attached Email exchange between Stephanie and me will brighten your day and inspire you to continue to consider what kindness means to you.
I do love the idea that you are open to letting the Kindness Flag Project move into the world in the way that will be revealed by time and circumstance. You have given birth to something and it will grow in its own way.
I will let you know about two ways that images from the project will be moving into a new life here in Santa Rosa/Sonoma County, California. For many years I worked as a psychologist in San Francisco and was very involved working with HIV/AIDS patients. There is an agency here in the North Bay called Face to Face that provides HIV services in Sonoma County. Every year they have a silent auction (called “Art for Life”) and artists from all over the area donate art work. We participated last year and will do so again this year. So the first way the flags will (hopefully) have an impact up here is I have decided to print the image that is at the top of our first blog post about the Kindness Flag Project (the one with the 9 squares with the different flags) and submit that for the auction. The messages are so lovely – universal and inspiring. The title will reflect that they are images from the project. I hope this piece will be sold and thus help raise funds for this great agency.
The second way the project may help up here is also related to Face to Face. I thought the “hope” flag was particularly lovely and inspiring. I have “played with” the photograph to make it appear like banners (I will attach an image so you get the idea). I have offered the original and banner images to Face to Face for them to use in any way as they wish because I can’t think of any other message that has such appropriate meaning for them. They are interested in using them on their website so I will let you know if anything comes of it. […]
It’s taken a couple of days to process your Email. Once again, I am moved by your words and in awe over the power of what I still refer to as “this little project”. How things so profound grow out of something so simple I may never understand, but I am grateful to having engaged the power of art to have reached people in many, many ways. Would you mind if I posted your Email on the blog? If you would like to edit it, perhaps you could send back a revised version.
Wouldn’t it be great if the people who’s flags will be on the piece to be auctioned off knew about their contribution? I noticed the one on the far right in the centre row is one I threw together before I left my apartment that first day! I designed those flowers for our wedding four years ago and printed them on iron-on transfers and put them on tablecloths. They’re copies of a Scandinavian motif from tablecloths my mom had when I was a kid. I enjoyed making them using Illustrator, tracing back memories of looking at the flowers and letting my imagination take me away as I stared at the flowers when I was a little girl. And then as an adult taking these happy memories and adding to them knowing I was dotting the hall here and there with small bouquets of happiness. When I conceived of the Kindness Flag Project, I knew I had to make a couple of flags quickly to hang up for people to understand what they should do. I remembered I had the file of these flowers in my computer and quickly printed them up and ironed them onto some fabric pieces. My printer was running out of ink, so they’re mostly blue! But I’m so happy to see they made an impression and will inspire people in their journey to health. […]
I hope all is well with you.[…]
I was so delighted to know that the Kindness flag was yours and it was particularly lovely to hear the story about the image! How marvelous that the flower images were for your wedding and that they had so much meaning to you. I think the colors actually are beautiful – how funny it is that the reason is because of a printer issue. Such serendipity!
Of course, hearing your story now makes me curious about the other flags and the stories behind them. I would love to hear more from the people who made them and what their thoughts were at the time. It would be lovely to be able to put faces and stories to each flag, wouldn’t it.
You asked if you could post the email to the blog. Of course it would be fine if you wanted to post the parts about the flags making their way to help people in Sonoma County. I would hope that folks who participated would be pleased to know that their efforts are going beyond Vancouver.
The fact that your kindness flags have a Scandanavian motif is poignant in light of the awful events of the past week. I have had a strange fantasty of you jetting off to Norway with a suitcase of blank fabric flags to help folks process what has happened there…
I know that might seem like a small action, but as you know, sometimes big things can come of small actions.