I appreciated being called out by a friend as she seeks to highlight the importance of mental and emotional health, and wellness, especially in this time of COVID-19.
I also appreciate that she didn’t ask me to do push-ups! (Which was the challenge being asked of others.) I wasn’t any good at push-ups when I was 18, and I haven’t gotten any better at age 48. (My arms are too damn long.) But I have always created art. Perhaps my attempts at humor or provocation are a helpful distraction or even a blessing.
The piece below was created out of my experience as a hospital chaplain, working primarily on the ICU and Emergency Department. Every day I speak with nurses and other staff, trying to support them as they support others. Many are broken and on the verge or burnout, especially since they are likely facing many months of COVID realities to come. They care deeply and are witnesses to patients cut off from their families, and families desperate to see their loved ones, but not allowed to do so. They see too many unnecessary deaths.
It’s a difficult place to live, on the soul level. They want to stay emotionally engaged and yet they have too protect their hearts and minds, to some degree, lest they spin out into very dark places. I often live in that space, too.
So, yes, for your own health and the health of others, seek out connection and community, get out in nature, and if you can make art, do so.
Not as powerful a phrase as “forsaken me,” but timely. For those of us that claim some type of connection with or sense of God in our lives (however that is defined), perhaps we can all recall instances of feeling abandoned or separated. Working in the hospital at this strange time I hear this feeling expressed by patients and families. Patients feel locked away in their rooms and family members can’t bridge the chasm keeping away visitors. Faith is a help that many turn to, and those of us who are able to be present have the privilege of showing up, making things a little less lonely, and hopefully are conduits of divine Love and Light.
Here’s a few mask-centric submissions.
This first one acknowledges Palm Sunday and the joke is a bit biblical nerdy.
Next, here’s three famous works of art adhering to the universal masking suggestion.
And a creation of my own: an abstract nurse. I work with nurses and they truly are the heroes of this bizarre time.
I work in a hospital. This is kinda true.
Personal protective equipment is becoming precious…
Here’s the third in a batch of ten cartoons submitted in February that were rejected by The New Yorker magazine. I was pleased with both the idea and the drawing with this one.
Seven more to come–stay tuned!