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so i had to say…

Dallas Clayton print

Dallas Clayton print

Over the weekend, I had a really hard time posting pretty pictures on social media. I couldn't think of anything to say that really meant much of anything. I'm an optimistic person. I am a hopeful person. And I have never felt comfortable discussing politics on social media. It doesn't mean that I don't care or that I am not thinking about it or feeling it or discussing it with people around me. It just means that I usually keep my opinions private because most of the time I am not strong enough to have the conversations with people that I can't look in the face and have a real dialogue with.

If you feel like seeing a little bit about my current feelings, you can see my Instagram story from last night. I needed to vent and speak from my heart for just a few minutes. So if you watched, thank you. I've read every single comment.

No matter what you feel about the state of the country right now, we all have the desire to feel feel like we all belong here. I found that this image above spoke loudly to me with very few words.

{Print by the amazing Dallas Clayton}


  1. Thank you again for speaking up and breaking out of the blog to address current important issues. I always wonder if other bloggers are seeing and hearing what I’m hearing out in the world because they never address current events. Not that they must – but just as you had trouble posting pretty photos, I felt sort of nauseous looking at them on my favorite blogs. Just didn’t seem right… and now is really not time for escapism….

  2. Hi Joy, I’ve followed your blog since a few years. I’m very happy that you speak up about what’s happening in USA. I’m French and I grew up with my parents discussing about the role my family played or not during the WWII. I was very disappointed when I understood that my lovely grand-parents and their parents did collaborate or did nothing (some of them resisted too, or did both!) and always wondered how I would have acted if I had to go what they went through.
    I also feel like it’s maybe because we’ve not been political enough until now that we’re here (cause France is not on a good path either), maybe not voicing enough for the poors and desperate people.
    So,for me, it’s really reassuring/necessary that the blogs I read voice out about what they can’t stand, defend their values, and show that the joy/beauty/simple pleasures/lifestyle they share and I enjoy, are also rooted in solidarity, care for others, open-mindedness…
    So THANK YOU very much for speaking up and be sure, that everytime you’ll do so, you’ll make some people like me feel reassured, connected, and with a renewed hope in front of these jolts that the world is facing.

  3. Thank you for speaking up Joy! People need to hear the story you shared on instagram stories. I hope the current administration remembers that.

  4. I couldn’t agree more. Like you, I have hesitated as a blogger to engage in political commentary (especially on the dumb Facebook!). But suddenly I have a hard time staying silent anymore. I feel like we’re living in a weird alternate 2017. I am flabbergasted at those who continue to blindly and adamantly support the current administration despite what seems like a sinking ship.
    I still don’t know what to say or how to say it. But I do know that it’s important to exercise our freedom of speech.

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I too felt lost and heartbroken. My great grandparents came over through Ellis Island from both Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia. They were 19 when they started their live in America. It’s because of them that I am here today. Sending lots of love and hope for unity for our country.

  6. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I personally hope you’ll post more like this, art and politics don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
    Escapism doesn’t feel right to me right now, either. This doesn’t feel like a cold that I’m waiting to get better, it feels like a cancer that will get worse if I don’t do anything.
    It also feels like the recent events on Friday are just a piece of a big unfortunate puzzle and I don’t feel safe until I know we’ve thwarted the grand plan to put it together.

  7. Hi Joy –
    I’m a long time reader, first time commenter, and also the child of immigrants from Asia. I am so glad to see you post about the executive orders on immigration. So many design blogs tend to pretend that art/design are “just pretty pictures” when we know that design is and always has been political. Let’s use our creative/artistic energy to build a future we all can live in.
    I also want to respond specifically to what you point out about why people don’t mix politics and social media (you wrote, “because most of the time I am not strong enough to have the conversations with people that I can’t look in the face and have a real dialogue with”) and I want to disagree with your characterization of yourself. You always come across so intelligent, kind, and thoughtful in every post, even the most whimsical, and you should not at all feel self-conscious about expressing your ideological views. We have it in ourselves, all of us, to engage in empathetic conversation, and we must do so especially now. We also owe it to ourselves and our legacy/our children to not remain silent, as your other reader Maïa pointed out above.
    So again, thanks so much for sharing, and I look forward to seeing more posts like this coexisting with the colorful balloons and cute kids 🙂

  8. I am troubled by the comment on the instagram post by the person who says “Muslims want America dead”. I don’t understand that. I am an otolaryngologist – head and neck surgeon and when I come out of the OR and hand a child back to the parents, Muslim or any other religion, there is the look (sometimes tears) of relief that any parent has for their children. My Muslim patients and families do not voice anti-American sentiment. The vast majority of Muslims and Muslim Americans are parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, children wanting the same things we want – peace and safety for our families.
    The blanket ban against seven nations doesn’t protect us. But is did cause my colleague’s great-uncle and aunt, who are in the their 70’s and have lived from almost 20 years in the US (before that the UK), to be detained for 36 hours when returning from a cruise. This was because the great-aunt had left Iraq when she was 3 years old.
    Phew, glad the ban protected us against them.
    Unfortunately, the ban propagates fear against a religious minority, assigns the blame for a few against entire nations, and likely will fuel effort for more terrorist recruitment.
    When I took my family, including all three young children, to a peaceful march in San Francisco, I saw an elderly Asian American woman in a wheelchair. She held a hand-written sign that said “Japanese-American. No Muslim Registry.” (If you are reading this, please tell me you know the what our country did to Japanese-American citizens in the internment camps.)
    No, I do not feel safer, I feel vulnerable and worried for the future of our country and the safety of our families.


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