What a year.
A quiet life at home, periods intense and stressful, so many plans on hold, societal ills exploding in front of us. As I’m sure you can attest to, when everything but the essentials are stripped away, (major) readjustments are required. Funny enough, this back-to-basics arrangement is how I experienced my own personal pilgrimage over the several years previous to the Covid era, and while it was certainly transformative, I couldn’t have foreseen that it would prepare me for the craziness the world is collectively going through now.
Spring of 2020 brought lockdown and no legal temp jobs to be found (my day job), and thus a good deal of time on my hands. While I was hoping to make great progress creatively, it seemed the order of business was instead about drilling down even deeper into the foundational layers: the underpinnings of how I work as an artist, how I manage my seesaw energy and my mental health, and how I articulate my vision and the stories I want to tell. More on all that in future updates.
My one work I am proud of from this time is a poem from the early stage of the pandemic. ‘Breathing With Both Lungs’ tells of grief and struggling to breathe, of hope and gratitude in suffering (read it here). I paired it with a photograph I made in my neighborhood years before, with two mirror trees, one flaming red and the other deep green. They remind me of lungs. The image here is this same photo, which I had printed onto wood a few months later. This spring I’ll be playing around with adding texture to it and text and sculptural elements, like this antique hinge.
Additional writing during that spring happened in bits and pieces with my Trio of Retreats, a series of self-guided at-home retreats addressing three distinct needs of the spiritual life. The second one, ‘Through the Desert’, is for people in survival mode who are going through a time of stress and need particular grounding (that sound like anyone these days?? ha). As soon as I finish a portion of my draft, which I hope to this Lent, I will share it with my Patreon Patrons privately for their feedback.
Next up, Year in Review part 2: my 2020 summer, when I applied for an artist residency and began a new photo essay project.