Where Are We? by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan
…I saw a hawk
crucified on a
I guess as a kind
to other hawks,
saying from the pages
of a leading women’s magazine,
but burn all the maps
to your body.
I’m not here
of my own choosing.”
in his 1968 book:
The Pill Versus The Springhill Mine Disaster
As an artist my work has often dealt with death, not in a salacious way, but as an exploration of the human condition and its dark under shadow. The other defining quality in much of my work is exposing the invisible “other perspective” —those who are most impacted by death—the living. Not surprising then that the unfolding of the murder of two teen children by their mother, Julie Powers Schenecker is on my mind right now.
The reason for considering this event here, at this blogspot, is that this woman is a mom and she has done the unspeakable. She has crossed over the line not just because of the act of murder, but because of who she has killed: her children. As I was thinking about this woman and what I wanted to say, Brautigan’s poem came to mind. As a sensitive person, certain things seep into me deeply in a way that is often difficult to explain except to say that it is what makes me an artist.
So many questions come up for me about this woman. The nuance of “why” keeps my judgement of her in check. The act is unspeakable and yet I wonder if it is possible to consider where this darker side resides in each of us. I write this here as part of a larger question I am currently writing on with regard to the state of motherhood in America today.
Beyond the comments I have read attached to every article about this tragedy, is it possible to leave judgement behind and really consider this woman and discuss the impact this event has on all of us?