"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Alone in distress, and calm

"Alone, and calm," 5 x 7 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper

Facing threats to his life three thousand years ago, a poet wrote, 
"Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress."
 -David, Psalm 15:15

In many ways in this pandemic, we are all alone, and in deep distress.
You can hear it in the noise of public announcements, in the anger and unsocial comments on so-called "social media," in the continuing barrage of more and more bad news.
Self-quarantined. Cooped up. Losing money. Out of work. Homeless. All this and more is piled on to the other anxieties that we have to deal with on a regular basis.
We are infected with distress, with worry, as our perceived securities seem so frail. 
In such times humanity has traditionally turned beyond the physical world for reassurance, for comfort. The great spiritual leaders throughout our history, including those today, have emphasized that out of hard times and trial, both individually and culturally, are necessary to eventually give birth to greatness and calmness.
Every crisis brings out not just the worst, but also the best of this species of ours.
You can see it in help and tenderness offered on social media. You can see in as families come closer together.
You can see it if you look around you and listen to nature, and other species continuing to live.
I'd noticed more and more Robin song in our back yard recently. Then yesterday, Susan spotted a Robin's nest tucked under our eave on a downspout, with a mother Robin perched in it.
Alone. Tending to life. Carrying on.
There is beauty here, and hope and security in reaffirmation of life.
Thus today's first watercolor.

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