Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Make Art That Hurts

I've been reading about the German Expressionist painters recently since I'm teaching my Eighth grade class about it. To see a slideshow visit

Ernst Kirchner in particular interested me. Much of his early work looks like Matisse's. But Matisse believed that every painting needs to be joyful and comfortable for viewers. After Kirchner suffered a breakdown as a soldier wounded in WWI, his works came to reflect his deep suffering. Kirchner wasn't necessarily fishing for sympathy, but his paintings certainly invoke emotions and provoke reaction.

Norwegian master Edvard Munch is know for deliberately making his viewers part of his paintings like audience participants standing in a stage play. His viewers are usually discovering intimate scenes that in real life they'd probably not be intended to see. This strategy of Munch's doesn't merely express his feelings, it effectively shares experiences.

Notifying friends of a trauma may solicit sympathy, but sharing an artwork you created or a poem you wrote in response to your trauma can in very real ways shae or replicate your experience thereby eliciting empathy.

Art (not just painting, drawing or sculpting, but writing too) is not only therapeutic for the one creating it, but can be cathartic for the viewer too. In that way it builds connections between people and helps students develop empathy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hardest thing I ever had to write

Merle C. Mallory, age 83 of Phoenix passed away Sunday, March 30, 2014 peacefully, surrounded by his family.

A loving husband, father and grandfather, Merle is survived by his wife of more than 50 years, Sharleen Mallory and his two sons and their families; Bart and Debbie Mallory of Surprise, AZ and their children Daniel and Emma; and Ted and Bethany Mallory of Charter Oak, IA and their children, Grace, Ellen, and Annamarie. And by  two sisters; Marlene Smith of Ann Arbor, MI and Mildred Dean of Whitmore Lake, MI,

Born February 8, 1931 in Petoskey, Michigan to Clifton Frank and Hilda Gay Mallory. He attended high school in Belleville, Michigan, where his family had moved during WWII. Merle enjoyed working for a local farmer after school.

On December 5, 1950 he went to work for American Airlines. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1951. He was stationed on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bennington where he was part of the Air Reconnaissance Squadron VMC-2. He achieved the rank of Sergeant as crew chief for planes patrolling the Caribbean for Soviet activity.

Upon discharge in 1953, he resumed his employment at American Airlines, a job he would continue another 45 years, working at the Detroit Metro and then Phoenix Sky Harbor Airports. While working in Detroit, he met his future wife Sharleen M. Reilly, whom he married at Angelica Lutheran Church in Allen Park Michigan on April 20, 1963.

Merle attended adult instruction classes at Angelica where he was both baptized into the Christian faith and Confirmed as a member of the Lutheran church on the same day,  May 10, 1964.

The couple moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1968 where they would raise their two sons and become members at Christ Church Lutheran, where he attended Bible studies, often served as an usher and volunteered. Merle retired from American Airlines in 1997 and enjoyed traveling with his wife, bowling, playing cards and dominoes, and doting on his grandchildren. Merle never missed watching an Arizona Diamondbacks game on TV.

Visitation will be from 5:00-8:00 PM Thursday, April 3, 2014 at Hansen Chapel, 8314 N. 7th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85020. Memorial service will be at 6:30 PM Friday, April 4, 2014 at Christ Church Lutheran, 3901 E Indian School Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018. Interment will be at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Church Lutheran Scholarship Fund.

Other Posts & Poems about Dad and/or grief
Great way to remember both of these; P51 was one if Dad's favorite planes and Psalm 51 was his favorite psalm. #P51 #PS51 #Psalm51

Written on a plane on the inside jacket of a paperback on the way home

no words

no images

 works well enough
there's not even
 much comfort
 in the familiar
cold comfort
 when there is



 sleep is
  no escape
when what little sleep
   actually comes

better to just
 keep moving
trudging on

what else is there to do?
what else is there?
what else?