I haven’t been as productive lately as I would like to be. It’s a bummer because, creatively, I’ve been feeling great. I’ve had so many ideas and been filled with such inspired feelings. Unfortunately, physically, I’m still playing catch up.

This is my current painting in progress. It’s of an injured deer. I originally sketched this out while overwhelmed by the possibility of developing a disability after contracting COVID-19. Sadly, this isn’t too different to how I am feeling today. For a while, I was doing good, but just this last week, after attempting to return to my full work schedule, I’m right back where I started: when I push myself too hard, I can’t catch my breath, and I feel burning and knife-like pains in my chest.

Anything serious that could stem from these physical problems has been ruled out. While I’m relieved to know I’ll be okay, this isn’t gonna kill me, I’m also uncomfortable with the uncertainty over what exactly has happened to me and how long I will feel this way. My (very unprofessional) guess is the problem lies with my immune system. I can say with confidence my immune system has always been overreactive. Like person like immune system, huh? (I overreact a lot, too!) So perhaps it’s just overreacting again. Or more accurately, having a complete and utter meltdown.

This deer is just a representation of how this all feels. Just a big old stab right into my body. I feel so much for anyone dealing with COVID-19 right now, whether personally or in close approximation. I wish there was something I could do for them, for anyone hurting these days… It’s been such a hard year.

I’m just trying to keep myself in check, remind myself there’s good stuff happening too. Like that my country will soon have a new president. Like that my brain is still sharp, I still have a lot of energy, I can still live a lot of my life, I can still make art. Like that I’m simply alive and so are all my family, friends, coworkers, clients, and the like. Like that my kitten, MY KITTEN, has been the best damn friend I could ask for in a time like this. I love him so much. Sweet Marcel.

Hopefully I can finish this painting soon. It’s a tricky one given there’s not a lot in it, so its “success” will depend on how well I handle the values, mark-making, and shading. Given how little experience I have with paint, I may not do it right, but I’m sure I’ll learn a lot in the process.

Bye bye.

Published by Steph Kunze

www.stephkunze.com

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