Art in the Time of Coronavirus

This past week, I have had the privilege of watching a very good friend -- a kindred spirit -- fully inhabit her gifting as an artist.

Like many women, Sarah wears many hats in her life. She is a wife, a mother, a homeschooling parent, a teacher (voice and art), and more. She has been raising three young men for the past seventeen years and as we all know, that job is all-consuming. It often does not leave much time for anything else.

And yet, she has carved out the time to create. She has made it a point (with the nudging and support of her husband and three sons) to dedicate time to creating and putting out beauty into the world. And it is so very beautiful.

Sarah is the one in the middle in vibrant, colorful blue!

While they were visiting our area of California last week, I got to see her in action in several venues and it was a great joy to see her shine in that space. I knew her way before the art exhibit, the painting classes, and magazine spreads. She is the same beautiful and authentic person now as she was then.

One late night, we waxed poetic about where we find ourselves these days in the middle of life. We've known each other for two decades and so much has changed. In a world currently full of uncertainty, one thing we are certain of is that Art and Beauty are necessary now more than ever.

In this crazy, hectic and frantic world, we often need reminders and permission to get off the hamster wheel and look around at the fluttering of leaves, the crimson paint of a sunset, and the joy of belly laughing with our children. We need to bear witness to the ugly beauty of life. Its joys and pains. Its highs and lows. How nature is formed in every brushstroke of every day.

Sarah is marvelous. Sarah is talented. Sarah is brave.

And I admit, I am envious of her bravery. Today, as I thought about art and beauty and the absolute necessity of both in this day of COVID-19, I will admit to a longing for the same dexterity in the arts.

For me, writing has been both my passion and my nemesis. I doubt that calling and drive constantly. I worry that I am not good enough at it. That I don't have anything to offer people through it. That it's a waste of my time to sit here and pour out my thoughts. And that it's a waste of your time to read it.

But Beauty.

But Art.

We need them.

We need voices. We need paintings. We need dances. We need compositions. We need it all. Because Art is the very expression of our humanity.

And if ever we needed to be reminded of the humanness of our humanity, it's at this very moment.

I'm asking myself and I'm asking you...what can you put out into this world that is trembling with fear over what is yet to come? We have so much at stake. We are frail. We are vulnerable. We are hurting.

But we have Art. And we have Beauty. And we have a Voice.

I pray that we all collectively join these voices and share the Art within each of us and put it out into this world that is trying so hard not to be hopeless and helpless.

Now is the time for the poets, the painters, the crafters, the orators, the digital creators, and the engineers. We need each one of us to dig deep and be creative. To create worlds and solutions and spur each other on to new and better things.

The fate of our world (and our humanity) may very well depend on it.

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