Sunday, January 8, 2012
The Land of Hopes and Dreams
Where exactly is the land of Hopes and Dreams? New Jersey. Really, New Jersey. This is the title of a song by Bruce Springsteen one of our more famous residents. But he's not really alone. The list is endless including Frank Sinatra, Tom Cruise, Sharon Stone, Bon Jovi, and Samuel Alito, a current supreme court judge. It is amazing just how many famous people call the Garden State home(and as far as those current Jersey residents I think only one or two of them actually grew up there). Maybe it's the gardens, maybe it's the stick to itness or perhaps it's just that we have to try so much harder to rise above all the stereotypes. Being so close to NY it was really a wonderful place to grow up, I mean how many people can hop in a car and within 45 minutes be looking down on the world from the Empire State Building. There are beautiful beaches, lots of sports venues, zillions of restaurants and really good pizza. That being said I grew up a half a block away from a toxic waste dump although to be fair, when I lived there it was a functioning factory spewing chemicals in the air.
Hope and Dreams seem like such a faraway concept some time. The name of this hand embroidered piece is called Hope. It signifies a black hole with a hand coming out of it. It was the first art piece that I made. It came from a place of healing and it is one of my favorite pieces. I think you can survive anything if you remain hopeful.
When I was a kid in New Jersey I never in my wildest dreams could consider that I would be an artist and that people would be moved to actually buy my work. I loved to needlecraft as a hobby, but I never would have thought I'd end up here. But then again, look at the company I kept. I'm sure some of the people I mentioned earlier, did not believe their dreams would come true either. Dreams kind of happen to other people. The only thing that keeps you striving toward a dream is hope and persistence and hard work. I think New Jersey was fertile ground for that kind of thinking. Perhaps something was in the water or perhaps we became used to the concept of hard work.
I could really go on and on about the Land of Hope and Dreams, but in closing I will not answer the question with what exit, because to me New Jersey is an entrance not an exit. And if so inclined the song The Land of Hopes and Dreams is a really beautiful song. Give it a listen.