The plants with the largest leaves in the world are probably the ornamental Rhubarb Gunnera. Also there is the Victoria water lily.

The fairy in me imagines painting or collaging someone wrapped in the leaves or actually wrapping my self up in them, for the duration of the pandemic. What really goes on in a cocoon? What is the sensation of emerging afterward?

This has been a theme in my art and thoughts and life for years as seen here.

    

(I designed this; The back cover is the lady coming out of the cocoon.

Speaking of visuals, for regular readers of this blog, you may have noticed the layout of the blog has changed. I liked that the old version had black and white circles with pictures inside for each blog post I made, and then when you passed the cursor over a circle, it was suddenly in full color and the name of the post appeared. I needed to upgrade this wordpress site so that I’d have more space to write more blogs. As a result of doing that, I discovered that my ‘old’ theme was discontinued. How I abhor change. But now I see that it is nice to have an informational sidebar with social media connected, and easy searching for archived blogs and also searching with keywords by topic. Also, my profile here has room for many more links and I am adding more here and there. It looks less visual, but maybe more user friendly? It is not as unique as the old one, but probably more modern?

4/7/2020: Literally dusted off the record player and showed my son Silas how to play records. He loved it.

I have a collection of photos of empty store shelves, signs depicting one way aisles and directing us all to ‘keep six feet apart’ because this is history we are living and one day seeing gloves disposed of ignorantly all over parking lots, will not be the norm. While it’s important to chronicle these surreal times in photographs, it’s important also to SEE what we do have:

    

Easy to take abundance for granted.

Personally speaking, I’ve decided I’m not a Tik-Tok person; but I am going to start doing short YouTube videos, probably about my artwork. I’ve got to sort through it all (the paintings, sketches, collages…) so I may as well take the time to really look at the individual pieces and try to figure out, just what was I thinking when I made this!? I may as well think out loud in short video spurts. And if I become the butt of jokes it doesn’t bother me a bit. I suspect some things I say or do provoke that and I am okay with that.

     I am feeling a little sad about an interview I did with Kaleidoscope magazine. I’m supposed to be their upcoming featured artist; they choose one artist per year and my interview took place before the pandemic hit us all. I think the publication will be paused for now. But what I feel sad about is that if it does get published in the near future as it was supposed to, there will be no mention of the virus because when I was interviewed the virus wasn’t a thing. I don’t want the article to appear oblivious to that. Certainly it is in the foremost of thoughts because it is affecting all our lives. I wrote to the publication to see if they’d like to change the interview to be more timely, and relevant; but I got an automated response that the office is closed due to Covid-19, so in fact because it is not essential, I think the issue is certainly delayed. Which is good.

     I’m not going to block my self from feeling sad a lot. I’m going to feel that feeling. I may even sob, though mostly I am sure I will find ways to get into an alpha state, for me that is immersion in creation. My work offers teletherapy, although talking therapy is never something that is beneficial to me, but I know it’s there.

If you have the interest, there is a link at the bottom of this post, to an article in Forbes about the fabulous company I work for and am proud to be a part of. We all had company avatars made, and mine was made from a photo of me with my hair back, as seen here, bottom row, third from left!

I had to go recently to the small but awesome specialty pet store run by a knowledgeable retired veterinarian. My dog has special needs, allergies, etc. I was masked and used my bottle of sanitizer after touching anything.

I felt woefully under protected compared to the clerk there (with the almost-equivalent to her idea of hazmat suit) who was running the store. I so wanted to kneel down and pet and speak to her dog, dressed in its little sweater, in its dog bed, blinking at me and dog-smiling; blissfully unaware but for some reason I thought it would freak the lady out and I went against my grain and did not touch her. I spoke to the dog a little but oddly that seemed to freak the store clerk out anyway.

The woman and I kept our distance and I was in/out in 5 minutes but the woman looked terrified. She handled my debit card with a tissue. She wore goggles and gloves and some sort of plastic mouth shield that looked like it was fashioned rather cleverly from one of those plastic cone dog collars that animals get when they have operations. We had minimal small talk (I asked for dog CBD drops which is kept behind the counter) but she was the right age that she reminded me of my late mother and the terrified look in her eyes stays with me. I couldn’t help but almost feel guilty for venturing out to get my monthly purchase of that which I think is essential for my pet. I am rethinking a lot of my errands now as to whether they are really necessary.  

I know this, as my personal hobby of raising insects from pupa to moth, and my interest in cocoons and the art depictions of this topic can attest to: I’ve always been fascinated with what goes on IN the cocoon, and it is not likely I’ll actually get hold of a Gunnera leaf or Giant water lily to wrap myself, but I grasp the metaphorical sense of this being an actual thing going on right now. Of course everyone is going to be changed by this, transformed somehow.

I’ve recently come across artworks in my circle of art friends, which depict the virus being eradicated One art depicts a crow eating the virus, and in the other artwork, an Indian God is shooting arrows at the virus. Still other art I’ve seen, is being made from enlarged telescopic images of the virus itself in its colorful shapes. I’m going to try my hand at venting through art by depicting the virus being destroyed somehow. For decades, cancer patients have used meditative imagery to envision their cancerous cells being blown up, fought by armies, stabbed, destroyed, set on fire, whatever their imagination can envision.

Let’s start an art movement. I’ll consult with Keri Bowers and the rest of the board at Art of Autism and perhaps come up with a good hashtag for this. Draw, paint, sculpt, whatever- depict Covid-19 being destroyed through your art! I have always seen the correlation between Corvid (meaning crows) and Covid, so I especially like the artwork I saw of crows eating the virus. You know, I may have already said this, but the once dirty canals in Italy are clean from less boat traffic, and now teeming with dolphins! ten-lane highways in California are now empty and emitting far less contributions to smog. Wildlife, like deer are venturing into far less populated areas and hunkering down on grassy areas once occupied by humans. On the flipside, I saw seven vultures the other day. Gee, are all the birds noticing something different about the environment we share with them?

Here is a montage of all who submitted to the Art of Autism’s Women’s History Month contest. Thanks to all who contributed and we will announce winners soon!

The other day I went into Walmart and that’s when the one-way aisles got established. There were people coming in the opposite direction that weren’t following the one-way rule. I had to pass a teen because of this and just as I did, she lifted her mask to cough and then put her mask back in place. It does not work that way! I am glad I was wearing a mask.

I had weekend getaways planned this summer that I accept will not happen. I had this Tshirt ready to wear to the events but I will just have to wear it in the living room instead!

I am awed/thankful on a daily basis, at the way people globally are utilizing their unique skills and strengths to combat this pandemic. From front line professionals providing one to one care and treatment, to researchers working on the “why” and “how” and developing possible vaccines to the automobile manufacturers building ventilators and the service workers in grocery stores and food prep. As a global team we are going to succeed.:heart:

My place of employment as a QA tester, Forbes article URL here: https://www.forbes.com/sites/morgansimon/2020/03/30/thriving-during-covid-wfh-lessons-from-a-team-thats-75-autistic-100-remote-and-2x-less-lonely/#ae531a751cc8

The use of imagining to destroy cancer cells:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/03/03/ep.seidler.cancer.mind.body/index.html