It is possible to make art in 2020 from a hopeful place

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A view from Mesa Verde, Colorado. Photo by Bart Schaneman

When the pandemic began I wanted to tell it like I felt it. I wrote mini-essays on this platform that I cross-posted to other social media accounts talking about pervasive anxiety and gloom. The wildfires and protests added another coating of sorrow and dread. I was articulating what I saw and felt because I wanted to confront what it meant to be alive during these dark times. What I saw and felt was true to me, and I didn’t want to hide from it. I was rejecting what I saw as toxic positivity.

Even during a global health crisis, the world burning, and social upheaval there is a tendency to avoid expressing anything depressing or sad because it’s viewed as soft. We don’t admit to loneliness because that would suggest we’re not good at being alone. Admitting to any type of emotional distress reveals weakness, a failing, as though we’re unable to cope. I don’t know very many men my age (I’m 40) who are receptive to help. Even if they know they need it. Even during a convergence of crises. …


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Forest near Nederland, Colorado, photo by Bart Schaneman


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The Western Slope of Colorado. Photo by Bart Schaneman

About

Bart Schaneman

Colorado. Cannabis reporter. Author of The Silence is the Noise. https://bartschaneman.com/

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