Art can have multiple forms, Roberta Orlando

After works without words, I wrote some notes. They collect different reflections and details, based on what I saw, and heard.  

End of March. Lombardy, Italy

Social distancing became an international rule for tackling the pandemic. Then, I remembered people talking about trees and intercrown spacing a few years ago. We should always learn from nature. If we let some space between us, each one has the possibility to survive. So simple in words. So difficult to put in practice everyday.

Intercrown Spacing 

Lockdown. Almost one month spent in quarantine.
An empty luggage on the floor. Only birds and bees are flying in the sky.
The silence of the streets. The children’s laugh on balconies. The sound of ambulance sirens.
One, two, three, four, five. They keep going on. Day by day. Week by week. 
How long can this last?

Someone walks, someone hits a car, others go by bicycle.
We should stay home, but you work at the hospital, my dear.
People should go out only when necessary. Waiting lines look like performance art outside supermarkets. Queuing for toilet paper, guns, weed, and essentials around the world.
What is essential now?

Breathe in. Latex is our new skin. Masks cover our faces. No touch, no contact. They call it social distancing.
The importance of oxygen and breathing is never been so highlighted. Solutions are desperately needed.
Countries, hospitals and healthcare professionals report a lack of personal protective equipment and ventilators.
Industries and companies convert their production in a race against time. Breathe out. 
How does this emergency impact on our daily life? 

First China, then South Corea, Japan, Iran and Italy, but this is not the issue of some nations. It is a worldwide issue.
I text and call friends around the world, but the situation seems to be widely underestimated.
Cruise ships wait for access to the ports. Europe waits for concrete answers, one united response, like a mirage. In the meantime, Italian television shows images that will remain in people’s memory: military trucks transporting coffins; a single man praying in an empty, dark, and rainy square.
Where is God?

Fences | walls. Viruses have no borders.
Stop wars and conflicts. Migrants and asylum seekers are still looking for a safe place. Tensions rise inside prisons.
In India millions of people leave the cities, and someone self-isolate on trees. Africa is called for urgent actions, tackling a new pandemic. Cases are rising rapidly in the Americas, with the US on top. Antarctica is immune.
Who can afford a test and medical care?

We are walking between healthcare crisis and economic crisis.
Democracy, justice, privacy and human rights are faltering.
Today more than ever, we should see more outstretched hands and less pointed fingers.
Once this is over, there will be time for figuring out what really happened, and everyone’s responsibilities.
Where do we go from here?

I turn off internet and news. You are back home.
Everyday, I see the reality of it through your eyes. The physical and emotional imprints on your face.
You are doing your work, as you and your colleagues always did.
Take off the dirty clothes. Take a shower. Put on new clothes.
How are you?

The intercrown spacing is most know as “crown shyness”, and this picture show it beautifully. 
Photo © Mikenorton.

4 thoughts on “Art can have multiple forms, Roberta Orlando

  1. Dear Roberta,
    This is such a touching, poetic text. I also feel overwhelmed with the news, updates and notifications. On one hand you want to follow the development, but on the other it’s costing so much energy and emotions. It’s terrible that humans should pay such a price for understanding the value of mutual support, peace and empathy. Let’s hope that the solidarity will remain also after the crisis (but when is it anyway?).
    Sending words of support to you and your partner!

What do you think about this?