I’ve kept quiet here since Ebola’s entrance to the US. My mind, though, has run alongside this virus on its course through my land, my industry. As late, I’ve found it difficult to decipher what is actually deadliest — the disease, or our collective response to it.
In my silence, I’ve wished for a poem or song to simultaneously pay tribute and call attention to the care and the choas. A simple piece to take a firm, clean stand from. Alas, I’ve laid blank, unsure.
Until, yesterday, I found myself near the Met. For fifteen cents – all the money I had on my person – I strolled in for awhile. Thinking in the presence of endless genius seems to yield answers, direction. Eventually, I stumbled across a photo exhibit, the work of Thomas Struth.
Two of his
These pieces struck me equally – familiar scenes turned unfamiliar – mystical – in the place where I stood viewing them. I was not a nurse seeing a patient in surgery, although the patient presentation did not shock me. I was not a woman appreciating the nature of a forest, although I appreciated it. No, I was none of my usual roles. In the moment that I viewed these pieces, I seemed only to accept an invitation:
Come see the trauma of life, and the beauty that can be found hidden within it – do you dare?
I did, and I do. This a fitting answer to my wish, a visual message for all in Ebola’s path:
Thank you. Be safe & prepared, and most importantly – see the forest and the trees.
*In unintended error, I previously exhibited my own photos of the works mentioned in this post. At the request of the artist, I've removed them. Corresponding edits to my post are bolded. For information about seeing these works at the Met, at my highest recommendation, visit: http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/thomas-struth They are on view until February 16, 2015.