Drifting round the silent rooms
It was the battle scene
That stopped me in my tracks.
Had that artist seen something,
A glimpse into the future world
Where desperate people cling for life
And turn there faces up to God
In hope that anyone can hear their cries.
I passed the painting with a shrug
And only now I feel the fear
That danced across the canvas wall
That seemed like just a window in
To worlds that never would or should
Collide with mine right here and now.
I remember going to the National Gallery quite often when I lived in London. We are very lucky to have museums in our capital that are free and they were great to visit on days off when I was feeling a bit frazzled. The art galleries were always the nicest as they were so quiet and calming.
However, this post isn’t about how to keep calm in times of stress (you can’t go to a museum anyway, because they’re all closed!!!). This is about those big battle scenes that you often see in the museums.
I would always stop and stare at the huge scenes, trying to take in every detail. They are kind of like Ye Olde Where’s Wally scenes and you can spend hours picking out all of the details. I used to look at all of the wide eyed men perishing on the field and wonder what these artists used to see when they closed their eyes. I had never seen war before so I didn’t know if it was an accurate depiction.
Although it had a lasting effect on me I would just shrug and move on. And that is very much what I had done with the virus until the last week. I had watched what was happening in China and just shrugged it off. I felt awful that people were dying, but I saw it as another world and one that I would never have to inhabit.
It’s only now that we have been hit by it that I understand how awful it is. I know this sounds really selfish but I’m sure that this is the way that most people think. It has made me feel bad about the way that I view the world and I hope that this awful situation helps us all to have a change of heart.
We now need to stop staring at the news like it’s a painting. We need to actively engage with each other and help where possible. This is the time when service to others is going to be more important than ever. We are all human beings and I have started to try to think less that as long as I’m OK it doesn’t matter about anyone else.
Make sure that you do stay safe and love each other. We’re lucky to have technology on our side so reach out and make sure your loved ones are OK.