The frightening news of the COVID-19 virus hit on March 6th. On the seventh, I apologized for missing a family baby shower. The next day began my ongoing quarantine after calling my family, drawing group, and Facebook friends telling them of my decision. I am particularly vulnerable because of age and breathing difficulties.
The night of the 7th was a horrified awake nightmare, dreading my demise and the aftermath. Would my art survive amid all that accumulated stuff? Was my DNR wise? And the most absurd: what would it feel like being dead? That nightmare was a blessing, I have not suffered imagining a miserable future for myself since then.
An additional blessing was knowing I had time to make more art. Rather quickly all artifices disappeared. Hair is growing from light brown to white, white, white. Bras and tight clothes to wear in public smell of dust in closets. Oh yes, cleaning house for the guest arrivals is no longer required, no visitors allowed inside.
There are moments of emotional chaos, anger mixed with fear with a numbing void.
All this appears in my drawings. Drawing frees me from the emotional snares. Hope appears in the etch of a delicate line. Beauty blooms in a watercolor swirl. Political rage is revealed in brutal charcoal slashes.
The final blessing is how to discharge my emotions via the internet. I send those visual thoughts into the world. Your reaction is your choice. I am freed of those thoughts and prepared for the next one to form a picture in my imagination, which is then transcribed on my iPad.
My lifestyle of Isolation is routine now. Time flows smoothly from nap to nap. Forgot to mention the naps: these are my off switch. Whew! Words, words, words—need a nap now.
Image at top: Suzanna Lasker, Mask, digital, 2880 PX & 72DPI, 2020.