There is a meme showing a photo of an artist painting alone in his studio, above it reads: “Before Quarantine”, next to it is the exact same photo saying: “After Quarantine”.

This is me. From the outside my day-to-day life in the studio has not changed much. The biggest challenge is that the beaches here in Southern California just closed to surfing. It felt like the safest and healthiest place to be, but I understand why. I comply, and still consider myself more fortunate than most. I have my work. I’m at home with my lover and best friend. We are healthy and flirt over coffee in the “company break room”. We walk more often through the undeveloped hills a few blocks from our home, in a nature that is quieter and cleaner-skied then ever before.

However, my inner life has changed dramatically – as I imagine it has for most all of you as well. Being an artist and writer who primarily speaks the language of symbolism, I have gleaned much from these times. Digesting what they mean for me personally, as well as for humanity as a whole. In the next email I’ll be sharing the images and words that this global experience is evoking in me. Suffice it to say that the planet is palpably more tender, hushed, and ready. There is simultaneously a new grief and a new beauty that I had not known before. The center of the world is changing location.

Until then, I pray for your well being, and share with you a poem I just came across which wonderfully sums up my current feelings:

And when the curve of contagion goes down
and governments announce that ‘we have made it’
Please please
do not return to immortality

don’t put on the invincible suit again
of unbreakable
of insufferable

do not forget what you have felt
Please please
be vulnerable forever

keep singing on the balconies
Keep applauding the cleaning ladies
the cashiers, your mothers

do not forget that you are only human
that you are fragile
that you are finite

and take care of life, the planet
and all the beings of the world,
until the day of your death,
as if you learned something.

– Jules Heme Here

Written by Paul Bond

Shop Paul Bond artwork at https://www.evoartmaui.store/paul-bond

Front Street Gallery, Evo Art Maui, now showing Magical Realism by Paul Bond in Hawaii.

About the Artist

Paul Bond’s Magic Realism art lives in the spaces between dreaming and reality. Through juxtaposition and the altering of familiar objects – mixed with equal parts whimsy, wonder and mysticism – they illuminate a world where everything is possible.

Bond’s award-winning art is in private collections throughout the US, as well as Australia, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Corporate collections include Warner Bros, 20th Century Fox and NBC Studios, Royal Caribbean International, Marriott Hotels, Scripps & Lucile Packard at Stanford Hospitals.