On the walk up the steps to my daughter’s school this morning, I heard another mom explaining to her daughter: “Yes, women have been oppressed for a long, long time, but also we have been oppressing men. We have taught boys that they are not allowed to show their emotions, and you remember what we read last night about social bonding? That it happens most when you see the emotion on the other person’s face…”

It immediately made me think of this photograph.

My husband found it on one of his walks this week and brought it home for me, knowing that I’m a fan of found photos. We had fun trying to guess when and where it was taken.

One thing we could tell right away was that these people are not Americans. That was for a few reasons, but the first clue for us was that if you look closely, the men in front are touching each other with a casual physicality you just don’t see in the States.

I hope someday we do see it.

In the meantime, I will continue my important work of painting small lines over and over!

Here you can see some of the silhouettes of people just barely starting to emerge.

And then here are some of the panels getting closer to being done.

The words of that mom this morning were a great reminder, and not just about how we raise our boys (and girls), but about connection in general. And the emotion that creates connection between people is the same emotion that creates connection between a piece of art and the viewer.

I felt challenged to step up and, instead of entertaining thoughts that it’s silly for me to have such strong feelings about colors and lines, choose to be proud of those feelings and let them guide me. I will keep working on that, as I hope we can all keep working on letting our boys have their full range of feelings. And letting our girls rule.

So this week here’s to finding whatever feelings you might have banished to an emotional corner and bringing them out into the light! I’ve been doing this for years and I continue to be amazed: They’re always there.

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