colby caldwellHOLLER

Alli Marshall - Day Two

colby caldwellHOLLER
Observer-2.jpg

MLK Day


What I’m thinking about today is how Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, but how so many others did, too. And how, even though  “I Have a Dream” is woven into the fabric of our collective conscience, our shared DNA as Americans is too often about shorting or overlooking or deferring the dreams of others. How many artists of color create work in obscurity—historically but also today, THIS day—and how many lean into the oppressive and airless silence, pressing their visions and songs and dreams into an atmosphere that refuses to grant space to what they put forth?

Because there’s a collective we that has decided a collective they is not worthy of space or voice.

And yet we can’t control the dreaming. We can’t stop the dreams from coming, the strange nocturnal visions that sometimes haunt our days, too. Haunt us or lift us, depending on our relationship to muse and making, depending on our willingness to flow with all that is, or our insistence on dragging our heels even as the juggernaut of the future rolls ever forward.

I found this image in a a collection of vintage fashion photos and made it into a collage because I love the looks on the women’s faces. They’re not really looking at the photographer but at a place just out of sight of the viewer. Eyes already on the next thing even as they pause in a present that was probably not as kind to them as they deserved. Not as beautiful as the loveliness they brought to it, not as honeyed as the sweetness they were breathing into the moment, not as sacrosanct as the dreams they were holding secret and sacred and close.