Dottie T Leatherwood

Passing Time, May 2020
12 x 24 in
I think about how this virus has changed our world so radically in such a short period of time. And it continues to change, day by day, even hour by hour it seems. Initially, it seemed like an overblown media frenzy, a story punctuated by fear and masks and being lived by people so far away. But day by day, it inched closer like a worldwide set of dominoes, toppling each into the other, extending into new and farther away places. With each new domino that falls, more and more changes to our lives take place.

Things we've never even contemplated have happened. Beaches closed, parks closed, small business and large corporations closed, schools, even my local bank has shut its doors with no date to reopen. Whole cities and states have shut and locked their doors, trying to shut out the invisible droplets of contamination. We are all wondering how we will pay our bills and if we will have any savings or a home left, by the time this is over. Shelter in Place and Social Distancing have become a regular part of our vocabulary. It seems the domino chain has no end.

I have vacillated between complete calmness and mild panic. I'm afraid for my kids, my family, my friends, and the inability to come to their aid should they need me. I've laid awake late into the night wondering what this would mean for us all in the weeks and months to come ... including my little beachside community and the art world, galleries, and artists that I know. My mind just swirls with all the possibilities.

Despite all my occasional doomsday thoughts and panic over being an old lady living in my jeep, I know panic is not the answer. Neither is worrying about all of the other things I can't control. So in light of my need to control something about all this, I have decided to inject as much positivity and hope as I can into each day and into each painting that leaves my easel. Each day that has passed during this quarantine I have been immersed in my painting. It is the best meditation and the one thing that I can put out into the world that is one hundred percent positive. And hopeful. And most importantly feels normal.