I think I have finally learned something.
At some point we are all likely to suffer a loss in life. Whether that’s a loss of someone close, a loss of our faculties (significant hearing loss in my case) or a loss of security (job, partnership or home for example). And if, in the past, we knew of someone who has suffered recent loss then we may have empathised with them, offering our sympathies and soon after perhaps to carry on with our own stuff as normal. Life goes on, as they say.
But maybe that was in the old days. Life no longer just goes on as normal because this pandemic has put very single one of us on the planet in exactly the same position of existential threat and loss. My loss is your loss and your loss is mine. Ultimately, no one is safe until we are all safe.
So what do I think I have learned? It’s taken me most of a lifetime to finally get this and realising the absolute necessity of putting it into practice. It’s simple. We all need to look out for each other. Each and every one of us because we are all in this together.
For me it comes back to those two key words I have often mentioned that I try to let govern my attitudes and actions in life. “Coexistence” is one of them, but these days we especially need to be proactive in our “compassion”.
About the new work….
“Our Better Angels” (above) is definitely touching on this topic of compassion. The Angel (this one I composed from nine different cemetery sculptures) is willing to get burned attempting to restore or rescue a situation. Likewise the doves over the burning book made me think of a burnt offering, something of ourselves to be sacrificed for the well-being of others. “There is hope - there is a future” reads the stencilled statement on the back wall.
On the subject of hope, the title for “Hope Heals the Hardest Blows” (above) is taken and altered from a line by a songwriter friend of mine. I replaced the original word deals with heals. And while I can totally relate to the original line through my own life experiences, I do believe that hope for a better future can heal the present. That allows for us to survive the future when it comes, whatever it holds. Hope might not make stuff in the present easier but it does make said stuff possible.