Finding Freedom in a time of Restrictions

Here we are, the end of April 2020. This year is the beginning of new systems, behaviours and challenges. Some people are struggling more than others. I am going to admit that I belong to the privileged group. I have the chance to keep my job and also take time to meditate and express myself. I am grateful for this.

Back in February, I ran to my friend's house in a mist of an anxiety attack to confess to her that I felt my life was mediocre. Little did I know that this would be my last visit to a friend's house and little did I know everything would change after this encounter.

I am a housekeeper at the hospital and once we realized the seriousness of this virus, when it became confirmed as a pandemic, employees were given the indication to minimize social encounters and isolate whenever we are not working.

Since the beginning of March, I only go outside to go to work or to do my groceries. Most countries are taking similar precautions. Some are making the quarantine mandatory others are allowing the freedom of outdoor activities with the responsibility of social distancing.

I try not to think too deeply about the state of our reality because I know it will make things harder to digest. I made this illustration to express this discomfort. Surrealism is necessary in order to "keep your cool" especially when your current reality becomes devastating and destructive. Most people could think this sounds contradictory because surrealism is often associated with the irrational, but if you look at the history of the surrealist movement, it makes perfect sense.

Surrealism was developed after World War I (1920). It was an artistic movement that included multiple mediums of expression. I would personally define it as a movement that broke the rules of the imposed cultural traditions of their time. It was strongly based on the expression of the human soul in the most natural and animalist way possible. It is beautiful to think that after all the destruction, new ways of expression and thought came in fruition to represent freedom.

Freedom is another word that I want to give emphasis to in this post. With the reality of this pandemic, there's a lot of new limitations and restrictions in our lives. Something I believe is that true freedom reigns in our minds. Our imagination is an expression of this. Exercise your imagination, find ways to express it. When reality turns ugly, find ways to go inwards and create beauty. Take the Surrealist movement as an example. All of these artists went inwards, they broke the chains of the rules and restrictions of their times and found ways to express their creative freedom.

I hope I can follow my own advice. I am not going to lie and pretend I am perfect. It took me months to sit down and draw something that was not work-related. Creative blocks come and go, and with our present situation, we are absorbing a lot of negative information. Fear can easily take over our thoughts. Try your best to relly on the ways you find and define beauty around you and within you.

Take care!

-Carolina







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