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  • Deb Puretz

Covid Art 40: Remembrance with love, little girl with bow in hair

Today is the 95th day since I started Shelter In Place in Pleasant Hill, California. So far, nobody in my family or inner circle has died of Covid 19 – this makes it all the more abstract. I’ve stayed away from elderly and the very young. I’ve consoled a friend whose sister died, and told her that in this particular time, a death at home in her own apartment seems better than death in a hospital with all the medical staff behind plastic and cloth shields. What do I know. I don’t know much and every day brings an added lack of confidence in addition to the uncomfortable feeling that I know less about my country than I thought.

But where I don’t know, I feel. I feel the intrinsic goodness of remembering the taste of fresh fruit, the joy of dogs, the pleasure of landscapes, and peering into strangers’ lives: of capturing their innocence, their confidence, their love, their humor. Whether they gaze into the camera with laughter, hope, calm, romantic longing, arrogance, defiance, or a look I cannot fathom, I want to celebrate each of them and their dreams.

That is why I was given the photographs, don’t you see? No, you haven’t gone into the void, I tell each of the faces I get to know through the photographs. You are here, with me, today and as long as this art has viewers. You are not gone. You are not invisible.

This photo is my dear Heidi, 35 years before I met her, but I feel like I know this defiant little girl who wore oversized bows as often as she her mom would let her (it seems from the photos), and became such a fiercely strong -willed, resilient, admirable woman.

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