A few weeks ago I posted a drawing of this boy, done from photo references taken 3 years ago when I got the chance to meet him. He was 7 at the time. When I drew him recently,
I’d been trying to decide between two possible compositions for the painting his dad commissioned. For the second option, this final painting, I’d used current photo references. His father couldn’t decide which one I should paint either.
Pick the one that would give you the most joy to paint, he told me.
When he said that, I fully expected to paint the younger version (the one I drew instead)— there was something delicate and tender about it, something I wanted to protect.
However, when I opened my computer in the morning to look at the sketches I’d created in Photoshop, the image of this painting here was the image that made my heart leap.
By that point, Italy had just been locked down in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19. No one wanted what was happening to be happening. Is this really necessary? Can’t this happen differently? Is it too late for an alternate choice?? A rip was tearing open in the fabric of our normalcy, of our illusion of security, and we were falling through. There was tension between the full warm feeling of being part of a large collective effort towards the common good, and the sheer panic of seeing an uncertain future looming ahead and growing darker by the minute. I, for one, was taking turns between fighting like a cat stuck in a paper bag, and exhaustion, occasionally even surrender.
When I saw this blue-eyed Cherokee, part warrior, part magician, golden in the light, I knew I needed this energy with me now: the innocence required to face the day openly, without pretending to “know” how it will all turn out; the supreme readiness of one who stands firmly in the present moment; the sureness of one who’s security lies in the light of the sun; and the capacity for transformation of one whose main point of reference is love.
I added this blog as a way to share some thoughts and experiences around the impact of Covid-19 on my life here in Southern Italy. These posts have been a near-daily practice during this time and are largely unedited, most having been first posted on Facebook. They are of course in order with the most recent entry on the first page. I invite you to explore previous posts or even start from the beginning.