Suddenly our lives have been interrupted like never before since the war that my generation remembers from the tales our parents and grandparents told us; from history text books.
It does seem strangely brutal that the reality of social distancing and the isolation that will shortly become normality arrived on mother's day.
Like so many, I called on the phone. I had sent a card to arrive in time and made sure that she was supplied with groceries. We chatted about the weather, the birds in the garden and the ideas that we had for paintings; avoiding the news and the implications for the next few months. Suddenly our relationships seem precarious, unbalanced. We all know people who are working in hospitals and food retail; suddenly the 'front line' in a war that we cannot yet see or feel.
Among the sudden strangeness there are of course moments of empathy and connection that have nearly made me cry; messages from friends and customers across the globe, each facing their own readjustment to life in a changed and unstable world. Looking out the back of my house, I can see children playing and running around enjoying their sudden freedom, which was also our first reaction on realising that an unexpected hiatus had inserted itself in our business life. It took a while to realise that what we have been handed is not a holiday, but a challenge.
I hope that we will pass the test; I hope that we will listen to the warnings and prevent too many needless deaths. I hope that after this is all over, (for now) we will all remember and carry the memory of how we felt, using it as a start, perhaps, towards creating a fairer and more empathetic place for us all to live.