Mar de Colores – painting by Johannes Bjorner
Around November of the year about to end I reached out to colleagues in the arts – actors, painters, conductors, singers, dancers, poets, composers, Germans…Brits…Swiss…Cubans…Canadians… Romanians…Americans of all ages and genders. Some of them are at the start, some at the peak of their careers, some no longer active in their chosen professions.
Rather than asking for opinions on how they and the world of the arts will be transformed, I asked them to share their thoughts and feelings about the current pandemic’s impact on their lives and work.
Here’s what theatre artist Emily Fink, the youngest among them wrote:
Thank you for sharing… I’m sure I’m not alone in the pain and confusion of this time, but it makes me hopeful when we come together to talk about these things.
So, heartfelt thanks for sharing to my long term and new friends Christopher Allen, conductor…Pedro Andre Arroyo Ojeda, singer…Christopher Jackson, singer…Max Clayton, actor…Christopher Zimmerman, conductor…Judy Martin, violist…Marie-France Lefevbre, pianist…François López-Ferrer, conductor…Pablo Medina, poet…Barbara Sloan, actress…Larry Jurrist, actor…Fotina Naumenko, singer…Matei Varga, pianist…Johannes Bjorner, painter…Yalil Guerra, composer…Emily Fink, actress…Odaline de la Martinez, conductor… Sabrina-Vivian Höpcker, violinist and to my friend, the poet Pablo Medina my special thanks for the gift of this poem:
Getting used to solitude, not going
where I used to go, not visiting a restaurant
or a show, not kissing the children
or hugging a friend or walking to the corner
for coffee and bread, getting used to solitude,
its slow descent, not knowing
when a person smiles, not hearing a poet
read or a singer sing, getting used
to the river of stones and the cackle of birds
and the silent sun, down
to the essence where solitude ends
and a dream of spring begins,
not to flee but to stand, not to hide
but to hear the music of the trees,
the seed’s whisper on the grass,
the earth breathe deep and say, It’s safe again.