I first saw this relief carving standing straight back about 50 feet away. I thought the full mural was interesting, but it looked flat and lacked energy. What caught my interest was the woman’s eyes. I walked closer and to the side to get a better perspective. As I looked into her eyes, the image came alive. I could feel her sadness.
When my friend saw this perspective, she had a much deeper insightful feeling. These were her thoughts: “The edge of the photo features her hand pushing against the wood, like a wall. Her pushing against it is more poignant because she does seem to be pushing against a wall that closes her in. On her face is the look of resignation yet acceptance that she will spend her life picking from the fields, so her children will not have to. It is a story I have heard from the children in families like that so many times. Sometimes when I think about something that makes me sad, I remember that not feeling sad would mean not feeling at all, and not feeling at all would mean not feeling joy either. When we look at something that pulls at our heartstrings, we are alive and thinking and affected. This is good.”