Introspection in Atlanta

A photo of two girls floating in the heavens, entitled Les Jumeaux des Anges (Angel Twins)Les Jumeaux des Anges (Angel Twins)


How is everyone doing? Are you anxious? Scared? Worried about getting sick? Worried about how you'll pay next month's rent? Worried about your parents?

Anxiety is the word of the day.

I've dealt with low-level anxiety and occasionally high anxiety since my divorce almost six years ago. I was tackling so many new challenges.

I had a lot of worries and fears. I've worked hard on overcoming those emotions because that's all they are - emotions. 

Prayer, meditation, faith, family, and friends are all a tremendous help for me in overcoming anxiety.

The realization that fear is our brain working tirelessly to protect us from harm also helps. The problem is, the price of that brain's protection for a lot of people is paralysis. 

Don't let anxiety and fear paralyze you. Do something - anything, but keep moving. 

Today, I posted the above photo because it's a piece I recently finished working on for a call to art in Atlanta. A call to art is what it sounds like - someone is calling for art to look at and possibly buy. 

Shout out to my cousin, Caroline, for helping me name this photo and several others. I was struggling with naming some of my prints, and I knew she was the perfect person to help. The piece is Les Jumeaux des Anges (Angel Twins). 

The photo embodies a lot of what I'm feeling right now. 

This piece is different from a lot of my work - certainly not a cityscape or landscape. For those who've followed my work and blog, you know I like all sorts of photography and art. 

I posted this because I believe we're bigger than our individual selves. I believe we belong to the universe and God, and that we're all connected.

That's why it's so important that we help each other. 

In the photo, the girls are floating in the heavens, one awake and one asleep. We often go through life half-asleep until something or someone wakes us up.

Then suddenly we're more alive, more aware, more open to the beauty of life and connection. Now is one of those moments.

The timepiece between the girls represents the transience of life and piggybacks on the idea that we're not always using our time wisely. Am I wasting time? Filling time? Am I accomplishing my goals? Do I have goals? 

The books represent knowledge. Let's understand each other better and work on making the world a better place for everyone, especially those who are suffering from extreme poverty. 

Since the books came from my bookshelf, a couple of them are art books.

The book with the twins on the cover is a Diane Arbus photo book. The twins reflect the duality of the two women (though in reality, the two women aren't twins, but the girls on the book cover are). 

The two books floating down together are "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." They're my mom's from when she was a little girl. Knowledge should be passed down from generation to generation. 

Is life what we see? Or is it something we dream? Are our dreams real and life the dream? What's our reality? Are we creating it or reacting to it?

"Alice in Wonderland" was also political - a great commentary on how the rulers of the day manipulated the truth for their own ends. Some things never change.

The book at the top is a collection of Edgar Allan Poe's stories, and the open book is 'War and Peace."  

I read "War and Peace" in 7th grade as a challenge to myself. I struggled through the Russian names and adult themes. It's a book I need to read again if I'm going to understand it.

I included it to remind myself never to be afraid of a challenge. 

I read Poe on and off and enjoy his work. 

These are what the pieces of this photo mean to me and why I included them. I'd love to hear other interpretations of what you see when you look at the photo. 

In the meantime, I'm praying daily for the world to start living from a place of love instead of fear. I'm hoping this virus pulls us together instead of tearing us apart.

I'm hoping I can help others in some meaningful way and that we'll all pull together to help the poorest of the poor who are always the hardest hit in any economic downturn.

I'm focusing on gratitude and the good things that come out of the bad. I'm not sitting around waiting for my phone to ring with photo jobs - it's simply not happening at the moment.

I'm grateful beyond measure for my little writing job. 

Look for your silver linings - my youngest came home from Chicago for at least a month to work remotely. 

My old and dear friend, Tarek, got stuck in the US trying to get back to his home in Warsaw, Poland and ended up crashing with my daughter and me for a week or so. He's hoping to fly out tomorrow.

These are strange and surreal times. 

Hang in there, my friends. If there's one thing we know beyond a shadow of a doubt - nothing stays the same. Change is inevitable.

Take this struggle and use it as an opportunity to grow.

I wish you all the best.  

See you between the raindrops.


PS - I had stocked up on some inventory for a booth I was going to have at my niece's school festival. I'm guessing I won't need them for a while. Instead of giving away a print now and then for a holiday, I decided I'll run a monthly print giveaway contest. Keep your eye out for details!