Each morning I talk to my mom on the phone.
She lives around the corner from me, but we can’t see each other. We’re sheltering in place, as good citizens and fearful beings.
Every day I sit next to the kind man on the sofa. I read and write, letting my gaze linger out the window. He clacks away on the keyboard, talking to himself from time to time, and leans over to tell me what he’s going to make me for dinner.
I keep my book of David Whyte poems close to my side of the sofa these days. Each morning I read his words, and let them sink into a heart that’s struggling to stay soft in these fearful times. His art has always been a balm to my soul, but now more than ever it’s a life raft. I’m reminded that art is not a luxury, but a necessity to my well being.
The beauty of crisis is that we’re shown the essentials of our existence.
Everything falls away and we see our true hearts. I won’t burden you, today, with the dark and tiresome parts of me that have appeared. Instead, I want to tell you that my heart craves closeness, connection and art in these days that I don’t fully understand. I hope that my body will remember, on the other side of this, that when reduced to brass tacks, all I wanted around me was love and beauty.
What does COVID-19 mean for the art that I make; the art that will be all the more essential on the other side of this?
To start, it means that Family Art Plans will be conducted by either phone or video calls until we’re given the all clear to gather once again. While I will miss the in-person contact I have with my beautiful clients, I’ve conducted many Family Art Plans virtually before. We won’t miss a beat. You can request a Family Art Plan here – with no obligation to buy anything.
As for sessions themselves, I am so fortunate to have a naturally developed a style of photographing people that is socially distant. The essence of my art is giving families space to be themselves. Practically speaking, I use a long lens, staying far away from my subjects and we’re always in wide open spaces. Social distancing certainly wasn’t on my radar when I began photographing people this way, but I’m happy to have it working in my favour!
If, like me, these last few weeks have awakened your heart to the essentials of family love and the power of art, I’d love to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below, or through email, what is essential to you.