The Quaker Hermit: Staying out of the Race

Yesterday was a big day here in Kentucky:  the running of the famous Kentucky Derby. 

I did not go to Churchill Downs (despite several invitations), I did not attend any of the Derby Festival activities, and I politely refused all invitations to Derby Parties (the saner alternative to actually attending the race, but still not for me).  There was even a Quaker Derby Party. 

As a person with a deep love for the creatures with which we share Creation and with a gift for working with animals, I am horrified by the developments in the "Thoroughbred Industry" in the US.  We have (excuse the pun) a track record that is positively shameful.  On average, each week 24 horses die in races in the United States.  Just a few months ago there was a race where nine horses started the race and only one made it to the finish line. 

Then, as a Quaker, I have a major issue with gambling.  I agree that it is pointless to make gambling illegal.  Making it illegal doesn't make it unavailable.  But NOT gambling is my choice. 

Did I sit home in gloom?  Certainly not! 

I fed my spirit.  Actualy, I thought my spirit would be getting a snack, and it turned out to be a feast!  

As I try to supplement my meager disability benefits through my artwork, I discovered that a monotype printmaking class would be held on 2 Saturdays, and I have been doing impression printing (lino and woodcuts) since I was 12.  I decided to put additional strain on my budget with an eye toward improving my art and abilities. 

It was a wonderful class, and I spent my afternoon with 3 other gentle, artistic people -- a math teacher, an artist who is a mother of young children, and the professional artist who taught the class. 

Our first efforts were questionable, but as we caught on to just how much ink was required, what worked and what didn't work, all our efforts improved.  I can't wait until next week for the next session!  I have all kinds of ideas I want to try.  And the printmaking studio has "open hours" for people who have not been juried into the cooperative yet!  Wow!   I learned so much and experienced such joy. 

And not a single person needed a designated driver in order to get home.  ;-)

peace & blessings,

       bets

 

Betsy Packard

Lexington, KY 

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