India Cruse Griffin
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These are the days…

These are the days that you will remember… It seems hard now to believe but face it, these will be the days that we will hold dear and cherish. The days we held our family close in the midst of uncertainty. I found love like never before for my family and friends near and far, and then…
All the sudden, spilled milk didn’t matter, but the cookie cutter you found at the bottom of the utensil drawer did; the one you used when you were young, baking cookies on snowy days with your Mom, and it actually made you cry, and it mattered. Things matter: people matter, patience matters, too much time alone matters, no hugs, no everyday items that once didn’t even really matter, but now they do…everything matters . Friends you thought were friends found themselves on the other side of a conversation and all of the sudden one word that spit out of their mouths mattered and then… what? Where do we go from here?

In this time we have been given that second chance, the chance to correct things in our lives. Not the things we messed up or wished we could go back and change but the found ones, the lost pieces of our precious soul, the pieces that excite passions, that quaked us throughout our lives and made us truly happy. It’s not by chance that the title of my first blog is a title of a song reminiscent of the music left over from my adolescent years, pining away in my room and listening to music for days on end. Drawing endlessly in my sketch book, my scratchy voice as I sang along, the record player scratching as well, centered solely on the only thing my 13 year old self recognized: my 25 cousins… and I didn’t mind.

In those days, your best friends were family and your family were your best friends. I found deep pleasure in being around them, getting my hair sculpted into ponytails that dangled side to side, listening to mainstream radio that gave me a sense of patience, progressiveness and goodness in the world. Despite the fact that I was growing up in the sixties, those qualities I continue today. I still love the sound of an acoustic guitar, Carole King, Jimmy Hendricks, and Sly and the Family Stone to name a few and much later in my life the 10,000 maniacs. All a part of me I thought was lost, has suddenly reemerged, in these days…, just pushed down deep inside me so far I couldn’t feel it, numbed from growing pains.

Hands on my hips shoulders back , looking forward yet reaching back in the year of isolation. Pulling from the inside out, my soul and true being, yet I yearn for those days of complete innocence. I still find that need to conform. Conform to an ever changing society, expectations that were hard to reach or denied the chance to.

​ Don’t get me wrong, I was and still am that little artsy black girl growing up in my small town. My soul is revived, newly inspired of what can and could be still to come. My love for wearing turtlenecks, knee high socks, penny loafers, quiet yet mighty at least I thought I was going to stay that way, for the most part. Friends are now lost in spirit and I feel lost too, and if they aren’t lost then where are they? I knew them, they knew me, so what changed? Did my skin suddenly grow darker as we grew older from the pains of the day, and theirs lighter from the load they did not carry? Their hearts seem colder, caught up in the days, as mine warmed from the compassion of others standing up for and taking care of those we did not know until now… My love for them remains the same… These are the days.
I grew up holding all those childhood memories in. Life changed me in many ways, and yet I somehow maintained those memories. They shoot out from my paint brushes like rockets and show up in my personality and art today: smooth spots and jagged edges , memories pasted to the background, and lost recipes glued on by mistake. Getting caught up in the love of paint splattering everywhere, the smell of it swirling through the air, harkens me back to days of ole.

Yes these are the days…
My art shares the account of a life lived through the love of the things that are important to me now and back then . The mature me, the me that has gone through some things, good things and bad things, crazy things, family things. This has molded my art, my culture, my family ,and our life spent Laughing and loving.
For me, this trying time, it is a beautiful time, rediscovering and sharing my Art, so old yet…
These are the days I’ll remember, and I hope you will too!


Stay Well !Be Kind my friends!
​Always India

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