The gift of life comes with our first breath and we die with our last

It seems prophetic that a virus that forces people to isolate themselves also lowers pollution levels. Newspapers are printing maps that identify the spread of Covid-19. At the same time, they are producing maps that reveal the decline in pollution in the same area. The polluted air and the coronavirus don't discriminate. They don't care about racism, nationalism, religion, sexual preferences, wealth, gender or social status. We all breathe.

If we are to survive the current state of darkness and confusion, which includes the disaster of the Trump administration, we must be open to new possibilities and avoid being caught up in just accommodating the status quo. We are Human first and must leave behind all the identity markers that have divided us.

The imagination is the sense organ for perceiving the unknown, and if we want to create a different world we must veer toward art in all its forms. In order to survive in any meaningful way, we must change. Art has the power to help us see, hear and feel and to shift our consciousness. When we experience art in a deeply personal way that connects us to something larger than ourselves, we understand that art and life are intertwined. Art can offer meaning and connection in astonishing ways, ways that involve love and kindness, empathy and beauty.

When Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, I understood that the world would be destabilized in significant ways. I started a new series of paintings with the working title, "Unmoored." I searched for a field free from old codes to project my visions on. I found that place in images taken from the Hubble telescope over many years. For the last three years, beautiful gaseous nebula and galaxies surrounded in dark matter and powerful cosmic rays have served me as a space to extend my consciousness. This space seems beyond the trends and fashions and falsehoods that surround us. In this weird, uncanny and mysteriously beautiful para normal space I'm free to roam and offer change, hope and solidarity. It's a place that dazzles, shimmers and frightens. It gives solace to my aging soul.

Lynn Randolph lives and works in Houston, Texas.