Coming Out Of Seclusion

Coming Out Of Seclusion

By Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse

Robert and I have stayed more or less isolated during the last 2 ½ months.  Sure, we have Zoomed and FaceTimed often, but have stayed to ourselves as most have done.  Now the USA and our local communities are opening up.  But we are being slow to engage.  We go grocery shopping every two weeks.  Well, Robert does.  I went to Lowe’s last week.  Yes, with a mask and hand wipes.  We also got takeout for the first time on Tuesday from Katerina’s, a relatively new Greek restaurant here in Tarpon Springs.  I’m sure we’ll do it again.  We are still walking many times a day with our dog Miles Blue.  We work a great deal outside in our yard and tend our “ziggurat garden.”  We go to our studio and work.

All this sounds too good – even to me.  But there is an underlying rumble that is growing louder both in Robert and I and all throughout our communities.  I think by opening up our lives again, we don’t know into what we are stepping.  Our world is rife with the unknown, and the unknown is scary.  But it can also be transformative.  The rumblings, the protests, the outrage is a sign that we demand something different.  I know Robert and I do.  We want a world without systematic racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, and all the rest.  We want justice.  We want a world that commits to reversing climate change.  We just want a world that is safe for all of us.  No pandemics.  No divisiveness.  No inequity.

I find myself reflecting.  Robert does as well.  I would not be surprised if many others are also reflecting.  For many of us, our world slowed down.  When we were going non-stop, we didn’t really have time to reflect.  We just went, and we did what we just did.  I don’t want that world anymore.  I suspect others don’t as well.  Change is here.

For Robert and I as artists, the question is how to make art in all of this.  How will all that is welling up and boiling over become manifest?  This is, I suspect, a question many have about themselves.  I, for one, look forward to seeing your vision in action.  Art On!

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