This past year, like many of you, I questioned most days what I am supposed to be doing. There is no business as usual, but there is a lot of time to fill. Normally, proactive, but getting on in years, I found myself deciding to wait and see. I did use my non-profit website to list visual arts virtual events in San Diego (about 150) and I did, myself, attend many of those events and even report on some in my blog. I continued to make my own art and I looked at lots and lots of art on Instagram and the internet.
Only now am I realizing, that what I was actually doing was keeping my finger on the pulse of the art world. I was tracking visual reactions to Black Lives Matter. I was immersed in the election and how that might affect the art world. Support of the arts on the city and county level are particularly important in San Diego. We are the only county in California not to have an arts council. I was noticing and participating in thank you banners for our first responders and frontline workers and hoping to do so to encourage people to vaccinate.
I was absorbing the lost of art friends, people who now have no pulse; not gathering for funerals, of course, but writing words of consolation to family and friends. I was celebrating birthdays, sunsets, even a new water heater, a good harvest of lemons, and continued good health. I was spreading joy with cookie exchanges and spectacular holiday light reports. I was being a friend by lending an ear. All these day to day activities are an integral part of the pulse of our community. The small acts need to continue to be rooted in compassion and awareness.
I have made a personal symbol for myself to commemorate the
new year and new hope. My Finger on the Pulse bronze and silver bracelet is
comfortable, light weight, shiny and a reminder to me that what goes around
will come around.