(Reflections As the Pandemic Wanes in New York City)
For me, as for so many across the world, lockdown brought the heartbreak of projects postponed, finances wrecked, a world forever changed, teetering on the brink of totalitarianism and disaster. It forced many of us to face an implacable future bearing down at dizzying speed with unprecedented challenges that will test our mettle and marrow as individuals and as societies for many years to come.
Yet It also brought unsuspected blessings. You see, for years I’d begged the universe to give me a full month so that I could undertake deep cleaning, silence the bothersome “white noise” that had bogged down my forward movement and reclaim my creative spirit.
Lockdown granted that wish, times thirteen, and it took hard discipline every single day to cover the ground I needed to cover so that when I emerged again, I would do so with that spirit leaping high in my soul, no longer just a divine spark but a roaring bonfire. Midway through it, I bowed my head, drew deep into myself, faced my own mortality and gave my all to this life-and-death enterprise knowing that my time is limited.
While I’ve often felt defeated this year, I’m also grateful for the many skills my life on the periphery has granted me; for having work when so many around me have none; for enjoying vision and foresight enough to see into the future and prepare accordingly. Let none of this sound boastful. All my gifts are merely loans intended to help this world heal, not make it sicker. I understand the power of one person to effect change in the world, yet as an artist, my vision depends on collectives and I understand that we will need each other now more than ever before. I am grateful for a community of people worldwide whose collective vision aligns with mine and look forward to seeing the ties that bind us grow stronger and more powerful by the day.
In closing, as I reclaim my throne I also call upon the wisdom of King Solomon and the noblest spirit of my Jewish forebears: “A man’s pride will bring him low, but a humble spirit will obtain honor.” (Proverbs 29:23)
By: Walter Krochmal