Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Seattle is cold and wet. Delightful, actually. The last time I saw rain was in January.
Yesterday's highlight (other than recovering my misplaced hangbag -- don't ask!) was the Offering Reconciliation exhibit at the Bellevue Arts Museum. Here's Bao with one of the more unusual pieces.
This is about Israelis and Palestinians and as a rule, Bao and I don't do politics. But this exhibition transcends both politics and war. It is exactly what it says it is. It is an offering of reconciliation.
The idea came from the Parents Circle-Families Forum, a group of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian parents. Artist Orna Tamir-Schestowits created a simple, three-legged clay bowl, symbolizing the fragility and necessity of life. Then, 135 Palestinian and Israeli artists, sculptors and photographers were invited to use the bowl as the basis for a creative work of reconciliation. The results are astounding. Most of the artists chose to decorate the inside of the bowl, although several of them smashed it and then rearranged the fragments.
Dana Baharav (in the photo) turned the bowl upside down and set it on end, creating a childlike, androgynous figure skipping rope.
After you've seen the exhibition, you can play Peacemaker on a computer in an adjacent room. This interactive video game lets you try your hand at being Israeli or Palestinian Prime Minister, dealing with real incidents, in real time. It's quite incredible, makes you think about these issues in a whole different way, simultaneously complicating and simplifying. But see for yourself. Go to
Offering Reconciliation will travel to other museums throughout the United States. If it comes to a museum near you, don't miss it.


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