Endings and Beginnings

On Friday, March 12th, Wisconsin’s Governor declared a COVID-19 State of Emergency. The next day, March 13th, he ordered the closure of all public and private schools. On March 17th a statewide ban of all gatherings with more than 10 people was announced and, for the safety of its guests and in compliance with directives from Milwaukee County, the Pfister closed its Lobby Lounge, the Cafe at the Pfister, and Blu. And then, two weeks ago on Tuesday, April 7th, the Pfister, for the safety of its guests and community, temporarily closed its doors.  

I, too, was forced to temporarily close “doors.” A promising and exciting collaboration. A trip of a lifetime on my birthday. My studio. My ‘Tuesday Chai’ here at the Pfister. And the 30x30x30 Exhibition.

This weekend would have been its opening. Thirty (30) artists were selected to create thirty (30) works in thirty (30) days. On January 1st, I drew my first mandala for this show. Soon after drawing that first mandala, I made a promise to myself to draw one a day for not just the first thirty (30) days but the whole year. Little did I know then how much this daily art practice would anchor and ground me during these COVID days. 

This Mandala is 111/365. Its story reminds me of my daughter Samara who turned 18 on Saturday and my son, Rana, who celebrated his sweet 16 on Friday.  It reminds me of years past and all of the years to come. Of childhood and long summer days. Of hiding and seeking. Of secret keeping and dream making. Of endings and beginnings.

There will be an end to these closures. And when that end comes, there will be a beginning. The beginning of something hidden. Of something new. Of something worth exploring.