I decided to sit in the glare of the sun on my deck and paint. The canvas was spread on the table and the colors mixed on a dinner plate with brushes soaking in the grey water that filled a coffee cup. I first mixed acrylics to a golden chartreuse and spread the butter-colored paint with a sponge. The background seeped into the pores of white, becoming an ambient pallid light turned yellow and amplified by the penetrating sun. The air around me was fresh with the smell of pine and geese squawked in the reflective canal.

People were home. There was a palpable dis-ease in the air. Ambient panic charged the light and eyes on their decks watched me as arms swept brooms and busied their anxieties into mundane serving-sizes of productivity. The soft, tedious repetitions of days fractured into swaths of time shredded by fear. The population was house-bound, quarantined in a collective blast of terror hiding their mouths and hands from segments of invisible DNA attacking human systems.

Still, the sun spoke as if all was ok. The openings and refusals of flowers, the gaiety of dogs and the biwinged bendings of bird’s arcs proceeded with normal flow. The gases in the air infiltrated lungs with a timing and density that betrayed sinister undercurrents.

At first slowly, then quickly, an inebriation overtook reason. Panic sold commodities and jobs were in jeopardy as schools closed parlors where viruses exchange codes. Then, restaurants and cafes closed up shop and traffic dried up while necessities were cleared from store shelves awaiting a plague. Stories of looting began as delusions took hold cancelling material comforts in a future where homelessness and starvation became the rule.

Still, the geese spoke in jovial tones and the bees prepared for a normal spring and plant-life flourished in a background of abundance bereft of fear, devoid of nightmarish futures that were now certain to come in that searing originality only human minds can portend with the nurturing of thoughts that inevitably transform into truth.

I choose to act as a counterbalance to all this. To paint and write and subscribe to a-here-and-now that is immovable, indelibly emblazoned into a shield of present calm. If I subtract the irrationality of human nature from the mystical equations manifesting in the aesthetic scenes before me, then a protective species of artful immunity forms the bulwark I require against the frail human invasive forces that far outweigh any viral infestation.