Birth of any kind requires letting go. Infants let go of the womb that surrounds them, pushed out by the herculean efforts of their mothers. All of us, as we progress through the multiple rebirths that make up life, push our new selves forward by letting go of what binds us to our fears.
At the start of the pandemic, we all looked forward to getting “back to normal.” And now, as the wheel grinds past its one year anniversary, entering the second pandemic spring, we begin to realize that normal itself has shifted.
Certainly, this includes things like remote work and school, the external trappings of our new lives. More importantly, we realize that our innards have shifted, too.
Every birth and every loss marks us. We are told to let go of our grief, but it is more like our grief holds on to us. As well it should, for grief honors the loss and the lost, and they deserve such honor.
No one on Pine Street is the same as they were as March rolled around one year ago, bringing with it the imminent closure of regular life. Then, this drastic change was unforeseen. Now, our friends look back with the eyes of grief, regret, love, and compassion.
Kassandra traces the outline of a shape on watercolor paper, the other side of which she used for a color study. This shape came to her in a dream, filled with vivid colors of magenta, rust, violet, royal blue.
It is a kind of spiral. As she traces it, she makes the lines thicker. It begins to look like the old optical illusion she remembers from her childhood, lines whirling on the still page.
The spiral of death, grief, rebirth, hope, she thinks, and imagines painting it three yards high on a big garage wall.