arm extending at an upward angle,
an artist sits before a blank canvas with paint on the paintbrush.
And, if this artist is anything like me, there is a slight hesitation before that first brush stroke, before the paint on the paintbrush meets the white of the canvas, changing it’s look entirely.
Am I brave enough to put that color down? Am I willing enough to take the risk?
Yes. These are the questions I am asking today while we come closer to the new-normal, post Covid-19.
An artist relies on past experiences; brilliant creations alongside failed creations. It’s all in the learning to know what works and what does not.
So, all metaphorical visuals aside, let me ask you this:
What are you learning while in-the-battle,
enduring the stress,
and the losses that dictate the days,
right now, during this pandemic?
What is most missed by you?
What is most important to you?
What are you glad to be without?
Lower your arm and let the color fill the white of your canvas. Go ahead, take the risk and put the color down.
Are you brave enough? Are you willing enough?
My brush stroke creates the image of everyone I love, sitting close enough to hug, on a day dappled with sunshine beneath the large maple tree in my yard. My painting would have this image repeated and repeated and repeated, ad infinitum – capturing the essence of time filled with the closeness of the people I love.
Would your color stroke depict something similar?
I think, and I guess, maybe so – and I know why.
We all are created as relational beings. We were made to crave companionship, physical contact, and love.
The greatest Artist that ever existed is the One who created you in the womb; in the womb you were known – the first relationship initiated, it is written in the DNA of all humans. I am not talking about your mother, she came second in your relationships. I am talking about God. From the beginning, God knew we humans need the companionship of other humans in order to thrive in the best way; the horizontal line of relationship one to another.
This is why I am not surprised at what I imagine to be the most common thing missed during this time of pandemic-induced social distancing:
and all the similes from there.
am I… (?),
are you… (?),
brave enough to demand that your new-normal includes an increase of time spent with loved ones? Are we willing enough to allow it to be the forefront of our paintings and push to the background, the busy-ness and non-relational demands? Can we urge authorities to be more mindful of this most important and basic need of humanity as they decide what to dictate to us about “returning to normal?” I believe the old-normal forgot this along the way.
… family time was more important than homework,
more important than overtime,
than the economic recovery (what do we need to recover to anyway – who decides that mark)?
What if school days were shorter,
work days were shorter,
and naps and vacations more plentiful?
What if we listened more, cared more, invested more into the lives around us?
Would these changes actually make us better and healthier people, students, workers, communities, and thrust us into a more abundant economy simply because we are living a more loving, refreshed life?
The canvas is white!
The paintbrush is in my hand, your hand, individually and collectively….
… are we brave enough, willing enough to create a new-normal that is better than the normal we had before?
NORMAL (Part III): The Unchanging Changer