Monday, May 18, 2020


Dandelions   24x36    Acrylic  $400

Locked Down, Sheltering in Place, or Coming Out Cautiously?

There's nothing cautious about a dandelion, one of our earliest Spring flowers, though many call it a weed. 

But consider it, as I did when a friend asked me if yoga fit with dandelions. She asked me in bleak February and I had visions of bright lively yellow heads dancing in breezes. Yes, I would teach Sun Salutations as part of the Dandelion festival being planned by the local farm museum, in trade for being able to set up a display of my paintings to sell.
Sunspot 8x8  Acrylic  $75

How to attract attention?

Paint a really big dandelion!  which I did, two years ago, and some little ones. Color is good healing medicine for the winter-weary spirit. So last winter when February blahs hit, I painted more colorful flowers, and some roosters. This year, when the two window decorators for Freedom Village Store were looking for bright and cheerful "Spring Things" for their display I offered my dandelions, in blah February of course, little suspecting what was coming our way.

COVID, more bleak than even February in NH. The Village Store closed its doors to the standard hours. The two window decorators wanted another painting for the other window, "something happy, and bright like the dandelions, something representing Spring, so even if we're closed, people won't forget us."  Spring Profusion (below) was my answer. However, the village store manager decided to Rethink some of what the store did. She developed a cadre of volunteer delivery folks, and proceeded to find out what people needed and wanted. The store "Reset and Recalibrated" its situation in the community.

Tulips  8x8 Acrylic $75

Consider your own February and March of this year, 2020 ..As a nation and a global community we entered March with hints of problems and finished March talking about and practicing sheltering in placesocial distancing, self isolationquarantine. When we communicated via email, phone, messaging, Zoom, we'd ask the old questions with very different import. "How ARE you doing?" "WHAT are you doing?" and we'd finish with, "Stay well," "Keep safe."

How Are we doing? WHAT are we doing? I hope making the best of what could eventually, if not already, be an enlightening experience!  Life for us humans became very different very quickly,  but there is no hurry. This isn't going away fast. Relax!  We have the time to Rethink, Reset, Recalibrate! just as the Freedom Village Store. 

What we need now is "new skill sets!" We don't really have to do all those things we thought we should/could get done. Instead, we can smell the air (less polluted) as well as the roses,  daffodils and pine trees. There is a world of healing out there in nature, with actual research showing that forest baths and indoor plants do clean the air, lower our blood pressure, in addition to being an aesthetic that speaks loudly to us.  With job loss and what seems to be economic disaster, maybe we don't need all those things we thought we needed! A garden could help with the food bill, and with meat supply in question, at multiple levels, maybe some new vegetarian dishes could be a family affair, a financial saving. Reading a book with our kids, even a chapter book, doesn't seem so time consuming when we are home together. ETC! ETC! YOU explore your own mind and interests, plus the multiple of articles and free or inexpensive classes available on line...then share them in new togetherness! No sense in rushing out into a world that has only tenuous control of the virus situation. Cautiously, we do have the time, we can work at making changes for the better!

Spring Profusion  24x48  Acrylic  and Metallics $800

And while we are considering the differences we're noticing, maybe we should readjust some values! What about those on the front lines, the ones NOT isolating, the very people, health workers at every level--many of them deserve not only the accolades they are getting, but also higher wages. And as we open up, what of the servers in the restaurants and fast food places we frequent. 

So, let's RE-consider the dandelion! Thought of as a pariah of "well groomed" lawns, much money is spent on Round-up and other "toxic to everything" herbicides to get rid of dandelions and other beneficial and/or aesthetically pleasing weeds. Spring at Lowes, Home Depot and other Garden Centers is marked by high stacks of Round up though it is banned in other countries! Re think this! Instead of poisoning, not only the plants and the users of Round up, and ultimately pets, children, neighbors and water supplies, etc. we can pick the leaves of the dandelions and get free, ORGANIC, and extremely nutritious greens (while we shelter in place and avoid stores!!!) The flowers bring their sunshine, and this year, because of the decimated bee and pollinator population (attributed to the toxic pesticides also out there), the word is out that we really ought to leave dandelions in our lawns to feed the pollinators!  Dandelions are only one of the "weeds" with a bad rep! Times are changing. We need to Rethink and Reset when science discovers new things about our sometimes not so miraculous solutions. Remember DDT?
Lead paint? Asbestos? Caution is called for! 

Are there parallels between the dandelions and our service workers? While we are Relaxing and sheltering in place, perhaps we should use the time wisely to Rethink, Reconsider, Reset, and Recalibrate the values we have been living with and the values we WANT to live with...We may find that the gap is large but not at all insurmountable! Especially since some of the changes are already moving into place!

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