Written by Andrea Terrón Gomez, Museum Specialist and Independent Consultant (Guatemala, ITP 2017, Senior Fellow 2018)

I have been reading your messages and posts and decided to share a bit on how the global situation is affecting us as individuals, living in different communities around the world. I am currently living in a community South of Vancouver, British Columbia, called Tsawwassen. It is a quiet and calm residential area next to the sea; beautiful and peaceful, green and blue, with bald headed eagles, it is wonderful!.  

My quarantine period started on March 18. It will be a month now and I have to say that it is surprising and shocking, trying to understand what we are supposed to be doing, our reactions and, how and what people are viewing and accomplishing by spending time at home, social distancing. 

I think we all are overwhelmed looking at so many outlets of information and different reports on the news and knowing that people are suffering, in some countries more than others, but the most concerning part is how we are dealing with our feelings and our thoughts. Maybe it is the first time we are not distracted and are forced to think about our plans for the future and, most importantly, our relationships, our friends and family. Who and what are we really missing? 

We are all trying to keep calm and avoid panic, personally, in the back of my mind there is always something that does not let me enjoy all the books that I was so happy to have, up and ready on my Kindle. What will happen with our jobs, what will happen with our families, what will happen with our friends around the world? The news talk about the air and sky being clear and fresh, clean roads and animals running, swimming, flying freely in different spaces. 

Cherry blossom. The Secret Garden in Boundary Bay, Tsawwassen, British Columbia

I am concerned if we as a community will take this time to change what we need to change and make more efforts to sustain a better quality of life. I do believe in the Bauhaus modo ‘Less is more’, and I am realising that I do not need to spend a lot of money to enjoy life. Maybe, we have to think on having conversations and meetings in parks and gardens and our own houses, instead of malls and restaurants. Maybe from time to time be able to enjoy the quiet and being alone, maybe even not being on the computer and phone all the time. We have to head back to what is really important in our lives. 

Why do we let our ‘old/normal’ way of living invade all our senses and take over on one of our human conditions, living as a community, trusting the other and believing in solidarity and being conscious of the other.  It is good to be alone and private but at the end we need human contact and connections and most importantly we need to appreciate the things we have accomplished and the relationships we have kept throughout the years.

Spring is a time of transformation and change, it helps us to acknowledge beautiful things we have around us and that are not going to be there all the time, we forget to cherish them. 

As the cherry blossoms come and go, new life is growing out and away, let us try to appreciate beauty in the little things and details and continue to grow from the inside and maintain what makes us human.

I leave you my peaceful and inspirational wall. These are postcards of art that I have seen in different museums and have collected throughout the years, the selection was tough but I could not pack all 200 of them! A difficult choice, believe me. Also, original works of art from artists from Guatemala and my Picasso daily calendar that I bought in London for the exhibition we saw with ITP fellows in 2018.