"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.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

A viral year, looking back

"Virus," watercolor from March 13, 2020

A
year ago today, I painted and posted this watercolor, "Virus." Here's the link to that post: "Going Viral."

It hit Oklahoma in public when the Thunder game was abruptly canceled two nights before. 

Since then, a year of uncertainty, of sickness, death, tragedy, of turmoil, chaos, and ignorance in more ways that one, global cultural and economic and political upheaval and violence, and survival.

In many ways, America, the so-called "greatest nation," has been hit the hardest, in all those ways. Of the more than 2.6 million world wide deaths, 20 percent--one person in every five--more than 500,000 have been Americans.  Such an ironic epitaph for American "leadership," "individualism," selfishness and stupidity of the free world.

By comparison, in the 1918 Spanish flu, 675,000 Americans died, out of 50 million world wide.

As I wrote on pages 58 and 59 of this year's journal of the plague, the third journal I've kept every day since last April 1, I reflected on all of that, remembering the uncertainties, the fears, the idiosyncrasies, the changes that dominated our lives.

For my record, I started listing what I was thankful for, what were the positives from this deadly nightmare. Then I listed the negatives. I won't go into that, but there were positives

First, was survival, and getting vaccines.On April 1in the first pandemic journal, I wondered if I, we, would survive. It was iffy indeed. I've had a son and my brother get relatively mild cases. I know of many others who were not so fortunate.

Next--the most watercolor paintings I've ever done, about 244 in 2020. I tried to bring some color into the dark world, for others but also for my own purpose and survival. That also led me into developing summary slide shows of my work on the blog and internet, that continue, month by month

Next--those watercolors boosted my almost daily blog writing to a record year, because they forced m to think and write about them.

Day 1, of Pandemic Journal
Then there was the almost daily journaling, key to introspection, a routine, and hope. Counting today's two pages--page 59 total in the 62 days since Jan 1, I've filled 355 pages. Some entries are brief, others more than one page. I've probably only missed five or six days all together, an accomplishment for one who is not disciplined enough to keep a daily diary. 

My inspiration came from Samuel Pepys who kept his famous Journal of the Plague Year in England during the black death of the Middle Ages.


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