Corona Kimono 2/9/21

The drawing I did before stitching it onto my Corona Kimono.  As often happens, the drawing changes when I stitch it because of the difference in mediums.

A few weeks ago, after our lamb Scotty died, Jon and I went shopping for a new rifle.  The one he used to euthanize Scotty was old and wasn’t working right.  We both felt it was important to have a rifle that was easy to use and working properly.

We called around and finally found a gunshop that had a .22 rifle. It was just what Jon was looking for. We had passed the shop before on the way to Glens Falls.  They also sold shoes, which seemed nicely quirky to me and it looked like a friendly place.

The gun shop was big and spacious inside with lots of people walking around. Men, women, and children were looking at guns, talking to each other, having a good time.

But no one was wearing a mask.

It was surreal. I found it shocking.

I haven’t been around so many people since last march who weren’t wearing masks.  It’s actually rare to see anyone not wearing a mask, even though we live in a place that overwhelmingly voted for Trump.

I felt like I had walked into one of my nightmares,  the ones I started having regularly a few months ago.

In them, I’m in a crowd of people, who all seem to be enjoying themselves, and no one is wearing a mask.  I start to panic and realize that I’m not wearing a mask either. I look around for it, but either can’t find one or the one I have doesn’t fit on my face.

I wake up agitated and frightened.

The woman who owned the gun shop was helpful, but I can’t say I felt comfortable there. I got the feeling we were all working hard to find common ground.   We found it in the purchase of the rifle and some small talk about shoes.

I overheard a conversation about how the virus wasn’t as bad a people made it out to be. And when the owner asked one of the salespeople to show Jon a rifle, he wouldn’t even look at Jon.

I am still haunted by a pistol that was in one of the showcases.

It had Trump’s name and face engraved on the handle and the words “Keep America Great” on the barrel.   It had the feeling of a fetish.  Imbued with the spirit of anger and hatred.

Even if people have not had an experience like Jon and I did at the gunshop, I’ve talked to people who have had nightmares similar to the ones I’ve been having.

I’ve heard that we have some nightmares so that when we wake from them we can be grateful they’re not real.

I couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling I got from being in the gun shop for days. I think if I ever find myself in a situation like that again, I’ll just turn around and walk out.

My Mask Nightmare on the back of the sleeve of my Corona Kimono
The back of my Corona Kimono.  There’s just a couple of small spaces that still need to be filled in.

13 thoughts on “Corona Kimono 2/9/21

  1. It sounds like you were in an episode of the Twilight Zone. For me, when this happens, it shows how sensitive we are to light and people who have open hearts. When you get the opposite, it is NOT a good feeling or welcoming energy. It makes me pause and realize how deeply hurt people of color and immigrants must feel in these types of circumstances. Sad, Maria, so sad, people can be so shut down, fearful, and isolating.

    1. I thought the same Janet. If I were not a white woman I can’t imagine going into a place like that. And yet, the owner of the shop said people were afraid when the BLM riots where happening, even so far away they’d get caught up in them and were buying more guns. It’s that old racist fear that goes back to slavery, without reason of course, that drives so many people.

  2. Maria – just reading it made my blood run cold. That feeling is real and should not be ignored. Makes me sad but we have to be smart too.

    I get so tired of being “the outsider.” I’m kind, reasonable, intelligent, don’t sweat the small stuff and yet humans elude me. Animals love me of course (dogs to an embarrassing degree at times).

    But at least you have a good rifle out of it!

  3. I am rarely without words, but this leaves me speechless. The kimono is a work of a lifetime, an amazing achievement. It belongs in the White House. Congratulations Maria. I so look forward to your updates on it that I am almost a little sad that it is nearing completion. For me, experiencing this has been like a meditation. I cannot imagine what it has been like for you. You have journaled your life experience while documenting political upheaval and humanitarian crisis. It takes my breath away. Thank you for sharing this. I am better for it.

    1. Sue, I don’t think I’ve actually allowed myself to think about it much. Your response is powerful. It’ hard to see my Corona Kimono clearly because I’m so close to it. There is a part of me that doesn’t want to finish it either.

  4. Maria, I also have these “no-mask” nightmares, which started a month or so ago. Didn’t know others were having them as well. It is such a relief to wake-up and realize it was a dream— such are the times that we are living in…Thanks for sharing.

  5. I think your kimono is a fascinating work of art. Beautiful in it’s own right, and full of consciousness. Yin and yang. Your nightmare, Where is my mask?–says much about our nation’s split. Dear Maria, you inspire us with your introspection and talent. Wellness and peace to you.

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