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Week 19: Day - To - Day Painting Life in the Time of Coronavirus

“It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly my darling... Aldous Huxley​

I started this blog on my writing schedule last week, then I hesitated. I did not want to write about Coronavirus, there is little else on social media and in the news. I gave up. A week has gone by and I have decided that it seems wrong to ignore this experience we are all sharing​.

This situation we are in is unprecedented. We are all threatened and everyone is grappling with uncertainty. Typically we go about our business acting as if we will always be able to follow our routine. We busy ourselves and assume that the actions we take will influence the outcome we expect.

Suddenly, that is no longer the case, now we find ourselves limited to our homes. For some of us that means isolation. Whether we are alone or cooped up with others this is causing stress and unhappiness for many.

We face uncertainty about what the future holds. Will we become infected? Will our loved ones become infected? We notice people acting in ways we think are irrational; who needs all that toilet paper? Why are parents letting their children pay on the playground? We watch in horror as stores and restaurants are forced to close and wonder as the stock market crashes what the extent of the economic fallout will be? No one can predict how long this will go on, nor how bad it will get.

Under such challenges we can each react as if I, my family and loved ones are the only ones that count or we can notice how we are all sharing the same uncertainty. If we shift our focus, we will notice that all of us are living through these fragile times. Our connection is stronger at the same time we are required to separate and not socialize as usual. Paradoxically, we feel alone and yet connected. ​Art work, like music and poetry, speaks to our shared humanity and gives us tools to look at our lives from a different perspective. Through art, music, and poetry we are able to explore our feelings and expand our vision. We are invited to communicate with others to share our feelings be they peaceful, joyful or full of torment. The works I am posting this week are all from the middle of October. Fittingly for our current situation, they are all of single ring forms isolated in their environment!

​This first one completed on October 19 shows the ring form in what seems to be a turbulent environment, the marks are short and choppy, moving in all directions and the colors indicate stormy weather. The form itself is not tilted nor influenced by the movement around it ( as we have seen in other images). The reflection on the front wall of the shape shows us the relationship of the form to the environment it sits in. Looked at another way the walls may be transparent, in which case we see the environment through the ring.

“You do not need to know precisely what is happening, or exactly where it is all going. What you need is to recognize the possibilities and challenges offered by the present moment, and to embrace them with courage, faith and hope.” Thomas Merton

You do have the tools within you to make it through, to remain calm and to look for the positives. Many people have started lists on Facebook and other social media, listing the positives. These range from; being able to sleep an extra hour in the morning because there is no commute to the office, to getting to spend more time with their children and pets, to the fact that worldwide the pollution is decreasing because of the decrease in the gaseous output from engines of all types. In this image the environment, while active, seems calmer by virtue of the lighter colors. In this. case there is a reflection from the ring form onto the surface of the environment.

We're one, but we're not the same We get to carry each other Carry each other One, one One, one One, one One, one ​U2 lyric "One"

This image seems to illustrate the idea that while we each are individuals we are permeated with the same energy and substance as every other individual. There has been a change in our way of looking at the world. Somehow even though we are more, physically, ​separate from each other, we are more aware of how connected we all are. No matter how alone we may feel, we are part of something bigger. Maybe because we can no longer go along in our day to day activities, keeping busy, we can suddenly see that connection more clearly. We can see that other people need our care and we are willing to put aside some of our selfish concerns and try to help them out .

This too shall pass. Old adage, originally from Persian

This crisis will end, We will look back on this time and marvel at what we learned. I hope that when we emerge we are able to change some of our behaviors, making the world a better place. ​I know that the root of your being is light, peace, and joy. My hope is that you become aware of this core. May you be safe and may you feel secure and may you have the wisdom to take care of yourself and any you are able to during this time.

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