*This is the second of four writings exploring how community can be strengthened despite culture and distance. A trip to China reaffirms how art has the power to activate the best of humanity. Home has no boundaries. Art provides that opportunity…
Inspiration can be the monumental. Encountering the Great Wall of China captured my breathe. When imagination becomes reality, it becomes a symbol of human potential. The only barrier to opportunity is self-doubt and fear.
According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): “The Great Wall was continuously built from the 3rd century BC to the 17th century AD on the northern border of the country as the great military defense project of successive Chinese Empires, with a total length of more than 20,000 kilometers. The Great Wall begins in the east at Shanhaiguan in Hebei province and ends at Jiayuguan in Gansu province to the west.” My home the United States of America is only 240-years-old. A fraction of the time spent constructing the Great Wall.
The next day, Chinese and American artists created artworks together in a park located in the desert of Gansu Province. A part of the group climbed a stone tower to draw from a panoramic perspective. Our “Great Wall” was the natural environment and unlimited inspiration.
After a long day of creation, the artists were invited to a BBQ in the country. The food was thoughtful and prepared with love. A special guest included a Kung Fu gold metal winner who demonstrated his craft and skill.
The following morning, the tour was on an early train to Qilian Snow Mountain. Unaware the group was sitting in the Train Conductor’s seats, the reception was tense. Smiles along with sharing art and cute golden retriever photos changed the mood. When exiting the train we left friends not strangers.
The mountains and curiosity were waiting.