This year has felt like a very long, melancholy Sunday. It has been a year in which every morning we woke up and made lemonade out of the lemons which that day had thrown our way. This year has been the year we learned to look for happiness in hidden places, like those puzzles in the olden times magazines where they would tell you there is a lion hiding between these trees and you then had to look really hard to find it, or they would tell you there are seven hidden objects in this picture and ask you to fine them. Nowadays, we have learned to look at the picture of our daily lives for all those hidden moments which may contain little bits of joy and glue them together to create ourselves a patchwork of happiness.
I think what saved us all during this year of the pandemic was our meditating towards hope — using hope and gratitude as a form of emotional self defense, a kind of over-the-counter pain killer, an escape from the reality we all had to deal with. Knowing that the message of SOS had been sent out, until the rescue ship arrives, it’s best to stay positive and stay afloat. We are all part of nature, and we can see how nature is simply very resilient and positive. Nature goes through hell and comes back renewed again; it believes in falling down and then getting up.
This year has also been the year I started painting again. After all these years, I went back to my tubes of paints, brushes, jars of gesso, and canvases, which, for so long, I had left behind, abundant and forgotten. Surprisingly, I found everything intact and preserved. All these years, they had been patiently waiting for me. Going back to painting felt like my canvases and I were lovers who had been reunited again after a long separation. I was embraced, refuged, sheltered, and saved by my art. I should confess that like everyone else, I did make one or two banana breads as well, and that also felt good! The kitchen, all of a sudden, had become important to us all. It was a place of shelter, refuge, and healing. It felt warm, like a mother’s womb, where we could gather to feel safe, secure, and be assured that nothing bad would happen to us. Sitting behind my computer and working on the book of my memoir gave me the same secure, peaceful feeling as baking and painting. At times, I saw myself, sarcastically, as Dr. Zhivago, trapped in the ice palace at Varykino, writing his poetry, as in the book Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak and the movie by the same title from 1965.
Soon, the year of 2021 would be turning the page to a new chapter, just to give us all the opportunity to start from a new beginning, with all refreshed hopes, wishes, and dreams. I understand that to grab anew, we have to have our hands free and empty of the old. Everything which is meant to be will be. It will call us by our name, and it will walk towards us. Everything continuously begins and ends; everything new will happen in its own accord, like the sun, which comes up every morning as though it has no choice. 2020 was surely a cloudy year, with strong winds, hail, floods and tornados. Let’s hope for 2021 to be a bright and sunny year!