Before leaving work this afternoon, I stopped by the Sand City Spectacular tent again, this time to see the artists put their finishing touches on their masterpieces.
Today was the last day of this competition (which I wrote about on Wednesday) and also a celebration to kick off Pittsburgh’s bicentennial.
The final products are amazing. There are five sand sculptures, so intricately detailed. I think I matched the right photos up with the right sculpture (although I’m not quite sure). I hope so.
In the aftermath of this difficult, tragic, and ugly week, it was nice to spend just a few moments amidst beauty. And it occurred to me that these works of art are — when you really, really think of it — individual grains of sand that together make something quite remarkable. Individual grains of sand that ten people spent more than 50 hours this week to shape into something awe-inspiring.
I know it’s naive to hope for a similar transformation for this broken world of ours. I’m not sure if that’s even possible. Still, I believe we have to try, to do our part. At lunch today my coworkers and I talked about the events in the news. We talked about whether things were getting worse or if these tensions had always existed but we were just seeing more of them. We talked about how helpless we felt and how fixing this seemed insurmountable. It’s such a layered, complex issue, we said. We wondered out loud how one even could even begin to start.
It starts right here, I said, with each of us. With being willing to engage in these kinds of conversations. I said this was pretty damn transformational in and of itself, given that we were three professional women– one who is African-American — having lunch and talking about race. We weren’t going to come up with any solutions at our lunch table — we knew that. But we could say that we saw another person’s reality. We could say that we see each other and at the same time, we are afraid of saying the wrong thing, of offending someone.
And we did … we said all that. We really did.
What difference can one person, one grain of sand make? Sometimes it doesn’t seem like much.
Yet we’re all that is holding together this world. This incredibly fragile creation.
This is post #40 of 99 in my 99 Days of Summer Blogging project.