It’s not what I usually do in the morning, and not what I usually paint. Rainbows. But then nothing is quite what it usually is in Corvid-19 pandemic times.
Tuesday is usually the day I head to south London at 5am for fun, adventures and a big dose of living-in-the-present-moment with my 2 year old grandson. But that routine was cancelled on Monday evening for at least three weeks because of the new lockdown rules intended to limit the spread of the virus. Only the day before his mother had suggested we might like to paint some rainbows to put in their front windows – like others in her area, giving the children whose schools, nurseries and parks are closed symbolic treasures to look out for on their walks. Did the lockdown mean then we/I would not paint rainbows?
As you can see, it did not. I sat down, as I would have done with Theo, got out my watercolours and oils and painted rainbows with all the insouciance of a young child. A way of being and seeing I actually always like to keep present in all my sketching and painting. One not yet fully conditioned by social norms and ways of seeing. One that allows us to make slashes in the umbrella of our worldviews (think that’s a Deleuze and Guattari notion, from their book A Thousand Plateaus)
That one hour of bashing out rainbows ended up being vitally therapeutic. Not only did it allow me to integrate my initial grief at not being able to be with close, beloved family into a new, personal bigger picture, it also made me feel I was playing a very small part in building community in such times, since there is now one in my window, and others in the post winging towards south London.
Metaphorically powerful too. Thinking about that crock of gold at the end of the rainbow. Let’s hope despite present, gruelling hardship and loss for so many, that all sorts of crocks of gold will be revealed by these radical changes to our economies, and our everyday lives. Ones far more rewarding than the endless consumerism, debts and loans of neoliberalism.
Somewhere over the rainbow? Nothing wrong with a bit of hope!