March 2020 will be remembered as a time of bewilderness, uncertainty, unstableness, overwhelmed, and helplessness as we globally experience what a pandemic is like. Our lives, our children, and our history will forever be shaped by what will be happening over the remaining year. For many, it will be a lost year of dreams, bucket list goals, year-end resolutions, and a lot of pain. Pain for those that lose a loved one, their jobs, their businesses, and their long-awaited retirement plans.
In trying to find a photo in my portfolio that can help shed light on what we have been experiencing, I found one taken of me mimicking Eduard Munch’s most iconic painting that launched the Impressionism movement in the art world in the late 1800 … The Scream. (Photo taken in 2014 at the Grounds for Sculpture Park in Hamilton, NJ)
Human beings are gregarious creatures. We are social animals that seek living in flocks, hunting down social gatherings, leaving no stone unturned, wanting to become part of a community that best defines us. How can this pesky contagion bacteria become such a successful world disruptor where all other viruses have not. A fact, there have been eight other virus outbreaks (Zika, Avian flu, SARS, Swine, Ebola, and others) since George W. Bush was President, almost now 20 years. Enough time and experience to have figured out how to avoid a pandemic. So much for being the most powerful nation in the world. Where is the out-of-box futurist thinking needed in today’s face-paced global society? How can this nation be so tolerant of such poor leadership from our congressional representatives and a woefully inadequate president?
Back to Munch…
Ed Munch was a bit morbid, fearing life and suffering from mental illness having experienced several disastrous childhood family tragedies that made him anguished, tormented, and feeling out of control. The Scream, which is a bit biographical, is where we are today…feeling out of control, uncertain about what to do next, and worried about the human and economic cost this will have on all of us, especially the working class and the poor. Do we need new coping skills to manage this unwanted anxiety, or is this a time to reflect and rethink how we want to change our lives and change the direction of this country? How do we lead with our hearts and minds knowing what we don’t know?
Munch artistic creations were grounded on bold, bright colors, at times, exaggerated shapes that clearly depicted his emotions even if they were a bit sad or full of anxiety. What can this say about us? Will we be able to see a bright solution to this cruel awakening? I am hopeful that as we manage this situation, our humanity will blossom by serving those most vulnerable while ensuring our own self-care.
Remember, things will get worse before they get better. As a society, we are resilient and innovative. We will figure this out!
Hang in there and help everyone be safe!! A little bit of mindfulness just may go along way.