Sunday, July 7, 2024



Dear Recent History,

You know how a lot of artists and makers really buried the needle during the pandemic?  Churning out all kinds of daily delights?  People made dozens of pairs of socks, they repainted, they made beautiful and poignant music and youTube videos, they planted flowers, they expressed their anxiety in all kinds of wonderful ways.  I did not.  I had none of that kind of energy.  To me, it felt like I was waiting in line at the scary roller coaster, moving very slowly towards my turn in the terrifying little cart; not a time to focus on creative pursuits at all.  My mind was frantic in its existential crisis.

I know somewhere out there, there must be one other person, maybe even five or ten, who felt like I did; too sad to make much of anything.  I didn't really know before that huge global event (the event, I expect, of my lifetime, even though no one even talks about it anymore) that my impulse to make art comes from something like joy.  I wasn't feeling any joy, or even any neutral sort of okayness.  I know some of you are out there; I hope you know that our way of getting through was fine too; it's possible we may have felt some guilt about 'wasting all that free time.'  We might still feel that we ought to feel that, but, with the power vested in me as a human who did not feel like being productive during that planet-wide tragedy, I officially absolve you (& myself) from all that crap.  We did the right thing, which was no-thing at all.  Doing nothing is fine, even best in many cases.

Still, I know you were marking time in some way; I made one of these little marks at the end of each day, in this cherry wood plank that a printmaker gave me.  I didn't start right away, I had to back fill about 38 marks or so; and sometime after the second year, after the vaccines didn't evaporate the virus, I thought, oooh, this is maybe not going to end in any kind of definitive way....

I kept making marks until May of last year; when I caught the dratted crud Covid finally.  After days of illness and finally testing negative, I was so debilitatingly tired that I got disgusted with the project; I was never going to be done making marks.  My Father caught Covid for the third time, this May.  It is printed now, and 'finished' in a sense.  There could be other endings for this board, too: cutting it up, burning it, using the back- saving it until time demands to be counted in that way again.