We finished the chapters outline for my second book, The Walls Have Painted Eyes: The Story of the Mural Art of Michelle Loughery Building Connections Within Communities and People yesterday. It is during this process that the central theme often clarifies itself along with subthemes. It came as no surprise to me that the central theme for Michelle’s work would carry such an important message that I think is very relevant to today; nor that the subthemes should tackle such topics as racism, community and the significance of recognizing our heritage in our daily struggles in this modern society.
It is a dream of mine to write a book that will have a positive impact on my readers. It was with that in mind that I wrote The Bartender is Your Landlord: Why the Wealthy Elite Invest in Real Estate and How Anyone Can Join Their Ranks. In that book I attempt to inspire ordinary people to take their finances into their own hands and invest in real estate to secure their financial future. I think The Walls Have Painted Eyes will offer something even more significant.
That significance comes from the central theme which is Michelle Loughery’s life philosophy of what she calls The Wall. The Wall is different for everyone, for Michelle it very much is the physical 40 by 50 foot walls she worked her mural art on; yet it is also something quite intangible. It is what those walls meant for her, what they provided Michelle with, what they took from her, what she gave to them, the kids involved, the communities, the sheer size and scope of the projects, the painting, her family and their involvement, everything that went into it but mostly what went on inside of her.
Everyone has a Wall. A place for artistic release. Michelle believes that this is missing in our modern society which is more focussed on financial or commercial success, the accrual of more pretty things and fame. It has almost become shameful to be involved with the arts, whether it be writing, painting, singing or cooking unless you have the commercial success to back your claims. This keeps us from exploring our own Walls, our own passions, our own special talents that we can offer this world. Instead many members of our modern society drown under the trap that has been called the rat race never once living to their full potential.
That is why I think the theme to The Walls Have Painted Eyes will be so significant. I think that Michelle’s philosophy can and will inspire our readers to pick up their paintbrushes, or hammers or chisels… It will help people find their own Wall, to find the place within themselves that they can always come back to in times of need, a place of healing, a place that alters life as they currently know it.
I cannot and will not attempt to explain her philosophy of The Wall here. Michelle and I have hours ahead of us for that discussion and more before I can ever hope to truly capture it. Yet I know it will come through as we write the story of her work. I can say this though, the writing of this book, the book that preceded it, the blogs and the books to come are my Wall.