LATELY IT’S BEEN hard to keep up with all the explosions and shootings taking place everywhere. In London, San Francisco, and most recently Alexandria, Va., people of all stripes are going nuts, and there’s little reason to believe the growing chaos will end anytime soon. Up here in Maine, our little paradise remains unscathed by the madness, making me think that leaving the state—or even my house—is asking for trouble. So I opt for safety, staying close to home and painting pretty pictures that likely won’t make me a dime, will never be seen by the public, or, after I run out of wall space, won’t even get to hang on a wall. Instead most of them will run out the clock like poor Anne Frank, their inherent beauty hidden from sight inside a dark closet. (At least Anne left a trace, writing things like, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”)
Despite wishing to get my art in front of a wider audience, still I feel my seclusion to be a worthy endeavor; my absence from society likely does more good than my presence might. After all, I’m one less person out there pushing and pulling, grumbling and grabbing. Also, the chances of being struck by a stray bullet, crushed by a speeding van or impaled by flying shrapnel are greatly diminished by my sheltering in place. Still, questions taunt me: Could the madness eventually come to this corner of the world? Should I go out and get a gun while I still can? And maybe take some lessons in how to use it? Have things really come to this?
My husband, being my polar opposite in all things, feels differently. Brave to the point of recklessness, Mitch relishes being in the line of fire. Two days ago he left Maine and flew to Arkansas, then a day later went on to Wyoming, after which he stopped in Des Moines before proceeding to Chicago where he hung out for awhile before another plane deposited him in Boston early this morning where he rented a car and drove home to Portland. Fortunately he returned none the worse for wear as apparently he did not encounter anybody with a grudge along the way.
Andrea Rouda blogs at The Daily Droid.