Love in the time of COVID

Thelma Sellers

Collapsed Barn

$400

Collapsed Barn
Reflection

As I look at the collapsed barn it makes me feel the sense of loss that many of us have experienced during the pandemic. The collapse of the structures that support what we have gathered, stored up and taken for granted fills me with longing and also gratitude. Even though the roof is falling in and many of the supporting beams have toppled over I can still feel the foundation. Those supporting beams, in my life are family and the simple joys of personal connection with friends. Those small little moments and experiences that sustain me daily are dearly missed and sometimes I feel the loss keenly. I long for hot yoga at the studio with my community, choir practice, meals in restaurants with friends and mostly, time for extended family events and life-sustaining, long hugs with loved ones. On other days I take comfort in my foundation and the simplest of pleasures. I’m grateful for all that is here right now: my family, my home, nourishment – physical, spiritual and intellectual. I’m amazed by the ways in which we have learned to use technology to fortify our foundation of family and friends. Yes, we have been shaken and some of the damage will be hard to repair. I have hope and confidence that our foundation is not cracked. We still have one another. In some circumstances we may actually have bolstered our relationships because we see more clearly what we have taken for granted and what is of most value.

Theresa Meikle

William Lottering
The Geomorphology of the Afterscape has yet to be Determined

Pen & Ink       $1000

The Geomorphology
The Geomorphology of the Afterscape

The finish line for our marathon

Is not in sight. It lies before us,

Distant location, a dog’s leg from current co-ordinates

Of compliance and confusion.

The road ahead is winding,

Mountainous switchbacks, fog and clouds isolating

To the point of smothering, no comfort in reach

Alternatively, our path follows an eight-lane highway

Moving at the speed of light,

Stops streaming by like a jump to warp speed,

Vehicle held hostage by the prick

a needle wrapped in a mask

Of mystery.

We place our faith in science and each other –

History shares no lessons we want to hear

We live in the now, tales of Spanish Flu

In the realm of time immemorial, long before

The days of walking to school uphill both ways

In your Father’s pajamas

We must forge ahead

scaping as we stumble.

The future is inevitable;

We curate our own inheritance,

Laid bare by the collective actions of our societies

Let us celebrate our advancements together, shouting

Goodness to the rooftops

Join together in moments of struggle and sadness;

Stay safe                  Stay strong                      Love lots

‘We are stronger together’ is not a panacea –

It is a blueprint.

Amanda Ellis

Janet Harpley
End Of These Days
Mixed Media Diorama – $200

End of These Days

End Of These Days

it starts with a whisper
a ghost on the wind
builds to a fever
ragin within
validated fuel injected
spreadin unchecked
by the same social networks
that were meant to connect

shortage of patience
surplus of rage
life in a bubble
that feels like a cage
searchin for answers
someone to blame
silver tongued messiahs
and the scapegoats they
name


chorus


and I
just want to hold you again
touch the lines of your face
and pull you right in
your eyes
on a screen are just not
enough
but next to what others
have lost
i guess it just aint that
tough

cleanin blood from the
steps
of the hallways of power
plantin seeds of forgiveness
in the desert to flower
streets that are silent
streets are ablaze
i pray for the comin
of the end of these days


and those that cant deal
with a world thats gone
sideways
drift away on a needle
down opiate highways
now others pretend
its government lyin
til truth on a stretcher
leaves their relatives cryin


chorus ×2


outro
lord wont u please
let us alter our ways
i pray for the comin
of the end of these days
i pray for the comin
of the end of these days
i pray for the comin
of the end of these days

Rubin Kates

Susan Day
Unstable Connection
Quilted Wall Hanging – $70

Unstable Connection
Unstable Connection

       I sleep in the t-shirts he left behind, though they no longer smell like him.

       I touch my pixelated screen, yearning to feel his face, the rasp of stubble along his cheek, the soft white goatee thick beneath his chin. “Have you gained weight?” I ask. I can’t feel him in my arms. Did my hands meet behind his back or would I slip them under his arms to his shoulders? He has a bump on his neck, or maybe his collarbone. I can feel it now beneath my fingertips, but I can’t picture where it is. What caress brought my fingers there so often?

       “No, same as last year,” he says. “You?” His hair, now mostly grey, usually cut short, by me, is swept back, curling into his collar.

       “About the same.” I sit up taller to appear leaner. So much I can’t say.

       “Your hair’s getting–”

       A dark screen. Silence.

       One year, four thousand kilometers and two million deaths separating us.

       No strong arms around me, no thick shirt and shoulder to soak up my tears, no stroke of a finger over the back of my hand, while I read, saying, “I’m here.” Instead, the ding of a text, or a WhatsApp call. “Hi honey.” My tears brim. I make my voice sunny and warm, bring Costa Rica to his winter evening. “Busy day,” I say, though I haven’t removed his t-shirt since yesterday. In the silence, I wonder what he isn’t saying.

Cheryl MacLean

Sheila Dobson
Fish Hut
Acrylic -$200

Fish Hut
Fish Hut

       Jerry was backing up his stupid trailer when his icy boot slipped off the brake pedal and slammed onto the gas.
       That’s how his damn ice hut, the one with the blue paint, ended up wedged in a tree on the edge of our property.
       Now the real estate agent wants me to take it down.
       “It looks like a birdhouse for pterodactyls,” she says.
       Jerry wasn’t ever going to get around to dismantling the hut and removing it from the tree. He moved on quickly. Bought a new one, second hand, from some guy down by the ferry dock. It was white, looked like it was made of papier
maché, old newspapers pasted over a Cornflakes box.


       There was no more access to the lake. All the marinas and docks were closed due to the Covid. So Jerry begged our friends Janette and Scott to let him onto their property so he could drag his fish hut out on the lake.


       Janette and Scott are nice people. And they live right on the lake, but I don’t know how much Janette wanted to look out at a grubby little fish hut perched on the ice in front of her picture window. Whenever I’d been over there, before the Covid, she had a birdfeeder set up, just beyond the deck, and we’d watch blue jays and cardinals all morning while we drank coffee and complained about our men.


       The thaw came early in the year of the Covid. Just another disastrous surprise in a year which had barely started. The wind had been howling for days, blowing the fine snow over the frozen lake so most days Jerry’s cracker-jack fish hut was invisible from Janette’s window, she told me later.


       And when the wind died down, the weather system drew in a big blast of welcome warm air from the Gulf of Mexico. We were all so relieved, the sun came out. We emerged from our houses. Janette and I walked her dogs along the shore, relieved to talk and stretch our legs.


       Jerry didn’t tell me he was going to fetch the ice hut that day. It was already past the legal date to be out on the ice. Only a fool would have driven a car and trailer out onto the mushy surface that day. But Jerry never was a genius.

Sandy Day

Annett Westlake
Rose
$500

Rose
LOVE

The feeling rushed over my body as my cheeks reddened. There was a sudden rush of life that flowed through every vein I housed. When I tried to stop the feeling because I knew it was totally wrong my mind closed off all the questions. I was told not to fall in love this way at this time. I was to follow all the rules and watch the television broadcasting how I was to feel and live. Oh, I can’t get over this perfect transition. Please, make it stop, what will people think? Where will this take me after the change to our planet is over? When I have been told for so long that I am not allowed to visualize myself this way, will I be different after the masks come off and the doors open again? Not many would view my thoughts as normal during a pandemic but who wants to be mundane or held back. The day it happened my soul turned to a beautiful transient colour of purple. The day I fell in love with myself, fully and completely.

Vicki Bruce

Beth Wallace
The Break Up
Stained Glass – $250 (sold)

The Break Up
The Break Up

We broke in a heavy crack across the ice.
All of us fixed still, unaware of the fissures, the rotten ice.
Then there was the gush and jump of the breaking,
pieces sharp against each other as we fought to know, to make it other.
The edges rushed away and we clung to the crumbs of them,
until all of Covid was ice and roar and jump, and spit into the air above.
Wind picked up armfuls of crystal drops and let them fall back on us, All of us.
Now is the much quieter shussssssh of the ventilator slurry, those stranded on floes.
Soon that cataclysm of water will be swallowed out into bird calls and lengthening days
of learning, striving, meeting, perfecting the surface again.

Sheila Dobson

Barb Banfield
Silent World
Pottery Tea Pot & Cup – Not for sale

Silent World
Silent World

And then her world went silent. She looked forlornly out her living room window at the school yard. The yard stood on the other side of the fence, behind her apartment building. She lived her life according to the rhythms of the school. In the mornings, she would sip her tea and watch the children funneling into the yard, some racing and laughing, others clustering in small groups. The younger ones sometimes continued to cling to their mothers’ hands, unwilling to be unleashed to the world of school. Once the bell rang, she would watch some television, but when the recess bell chimed, she turned from whatever was on, to once again watch the children racing and yelling, or standing quietly. She felt for the ones who stood alone. And again, when the lunch bell rang, she would sit and watch the goings on in the school yard. On Friday afternoons, she felt sad, knowing that she would not have the company of the children for two days. Holidays were tough, although at least in the summer, the children would often come to the yard to play: tag, baseball, and games that she didn’t really understand but that the children seemed to enjoy. The children and Lloyd, the nice man who brought her Meals on Wheels three days a week, were her only sources of company. And now, with the descent of an invisible plague, she had neither and she felt bereft.

Leslie Johnstone

Tom Zsolt
Photography
Not for sale

Photography
Whence We Come

We come from a place as beautiful as a baby’s foot

From spring waters and a silent moon

Ocean waves and salt water smells

Sand in toes and flowered rows

Walks in forests that never end

Of a Celtic green that radiates the sun and whispers the wind

Stories and rhymes of childhood dreams

Merry go rounds and soft ice cream

I come from friends and family

My mother’s arms and my father’s eyes

Of grandparents wisdom and childhood games

I come from love and this is how I remember

For in love lies my crayons, and dreams

In love are my memories, that I hold close to me on cold nights

Places where I can run free, like a child on a beach chasing a rainbow sun

I come from love and that is me

Glenn Marais

Michelle Richards-Clermont
Turned To Vapor
Experimental Mixed Medium – 18 x 30” – $200

TurnedToVapor
Floundering

just a light freezing drizzle       she says
and the sound hangs
in morning air        artificially lit
by the burbling coffee machine


her voice an assurance       somewhere
people perform routine tasks
somewhere they monitor weather
your ventilator


i watch the dog in the back yard
slip-sliding away like a paul simon song
nearing its destination       almost four years past
his life expectancy       says the vet        smiling
you could make the decision anytime now—
seems he feels it is mine to make


the divine right of kings
no one mentions queens
kings trump queens—
how many times did you try
to teach me the rules of the game
hound me to join when you needed a fourth


bored       i’d forget       what suit was trump—
poor memory i’d mumble—aware of my own
insidious subversion


i open the back door
help the dog in       both of us
unstable       on ice       holding on


i pick up the phone
call the hospital

d. sjöholm

Vantar Angardi
No Words
3-D Printed Words & Textile Sculpture – $50

No Words
No Words

no words to say
the way we said them then
when all was available in syllables


no words to need,
the way we needed them then
when silence meant worry
and quiet, a sense of dread


no need to say these things at all,
not here,
not now


no word for this,
this comfort,
this intimacy,
this knowing


no words

Doris Major