Raj Manickam

Minturn, CO

Throughout my life, I missed opportunities to capture many special moments I've encountered, just like anyone else. Some of these missed images remained indelible in my mind. Regret is to do nothing at all. In the summer of 2016, I decided to purchase my first DSLR and not let another chance slip by when I am able to capture the moment.

A little over the first half of my life I lived in Malaysia, the Southern East of Asia, and have experienced much of the rich eastern culture. Today, here in the Colorado Rockies I have a deeper appreciation and perspective of both worlds.

All in good light,
Raj Manickam

Coronavirus has transformed all our lives. In such short time, our routine have been disrupted, and familiarity shifted. Our movement restricted.

Our very existence has been challenged, not by a devastating nuclear war, not by a catastrophic asteroid impact nor a calamitous worldwide drought, but suddenly we face a life-threatening virus. And it is not even a living organism! Confirmed infection cases increased by many folds, and the mortality rate rises every single day.

Our fear and uncertainties came all at once. Breaking news and blaring broadcast fed our weaken insecurity. Out of fear and doubt, we shared and spread our emotions to balance out the burden we shoulder. Our conscious mind starts to propel us in a loop of confusion to seek more clarity. The only constant was an evolving change—the information on Coronavirus and how the disease spread was a moving target. Our vulnerability continues to perpetuate. We noticed ourselves reacting more frequently instead of responding. We protest the most trivial matters, and we catch ourselves getting angry more so than other times. Our uncertainty drove us to stockpile food, supplies, and, in most cases seizing them in unnecessary quantity. We operate in the pit of the conscious mind because we continue to live in the past. The shelter-in-place and restricted movement arrest our better-thinking faculties. We blame others and become judgemental. What thrown upon us is not familiar. We have never been here before, at least during my sojourn on this planet.

After the phase of reactions, we adapt to the new normalcy and yield to realize what we can and can't have under the will of our dominion. We start to seek and do what we can. Compulsive and panic consumption takes a gradual downturn. News and views we forward without even previously reading gets more scrutiny. Carefully, we only share what is accurate, kind, necessary, and helpful. We become keen observers of our sentiments. Our emotions and feelings reflect our maturity, not because of our age but of our understanding. The overused bandwidth hindering our internet use does not upset us as much any longer. We turned our attention to family time, connecting with friends and acquaintances. We explore productive avenues. From the fear of the unknown, we dawn into the light of awareness. We now know everyone else is going through similar challenges, and like them, we are also trying our utmost to stay resolute. Awareness is our friend, indeed.

As we transcend the feeble areas of our mind, we gain a new appreciation of life in itself. We offer thankfulness spontaneously and frequently. We express gratitude to our loved ones and to those who served others during this crisis. We see beyond the restrain they initially put on us. We understand the sacrifices others make for the betterment of all. We now explore beyond the help we seek and try to be of relief to others. Our innate creativity and expertise get channeled for the better to assist others. Our efforts motivate others, and the snowball effect transforms to become noble causes. We are no longer stuck in the mud. Like the lotus bud, we seek light out of the murky waters. Our outlook on life is more decisive, but we know how to be safe and vigilant to combat this intrusive virus. Fear and worry are just states of the mind our awareness flows through at any particular moment in time. They don't define us. Our sounder emotional disposition emanates optimism to our family and friends. Shelter-in Place, solitude and seclusion has given us more than what we really can comprehend. Each one of us can attest to what we uncovered in our quietude.

Time is the only healer.

Artist's website

COVID-19 Uncertainty and Hope, 2020, video, 2:13

Gallery University Art Gallery