The last six weeks have been a journey through disunion. In a matter of days, we went from full, busy lives to social isolation and quiet. It is really quite a contrast. I’ve spent half of these days scratching my head with it all. If you’re like me, you’re surrounded by dichotomy on all sides.
There are the folks who think this is all a hoax. “It’s all blown out of proportion,” they say. Then, there are the people who say this pandemic is the apocalypse, and have stored up 6 months of food, purchased pallets of industrial sized toilet paper and bought up a few more guns.
At the grocery store, there are the mask wearers and the non wearers. I’ve seen everything from full plastic shields with masks to skeleton themed balaclavas to nothing.
There’s the political and the apolitical. Some think the shelter-in-place orders are a ploy to gain control and desensitize people to socialism. Others think the shelter-in-place orders were put into action too late for any real affect. Some are pulling for Bernie, some for Biden!
Disunity can be seen in the way the young and the old are responding to this virus crisis. There are the spring breakers, gathering in party hordes on Florida beaches. Then, there are the elderly who have their groceries delivered to their door step so that they don’t interact with any one in any way.
As a teacher, I’ve seen students on Zoom who are completely in for distance learning. On the other hand, I’ve seen students who cannot manage any of this and haven’t shown up or turned in a single assignment since everything locked down in mid March.
Its all too much!
Like my black and white photos, it is a study in contrasts. It is an exercise in managing shadow and light.
The overlap here is that black and white photography eliminates color so that the viewer focuses on shape and composition. That is what I’m attempting to do in the midst of this epic shift we are experiencing: to get away from the burning details and look more closely at the soft edges and silver linings of the times.