News of the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on my family in India and the USA and on my friends across Canada are part of my weekly newsfeed. Too often, the news is heartbreaking, and we seek out moments of joy. However, there are times when the extended provincial lockdown in Ontario and the realities of closed borders feed my emotions like an exhausting fever that refuses to break.
Emails and texts and social media are ways to stay connected, but what I love most is to send letters. During the pandemic, I have been writing more letters and creating postcards to send notes to loved ones and friends overseas, across Canada, and even across town. My ‘pandemic postcards’ offer a creative outlet for me and generate a feeling of connection to reach the people I love. All the postcards are 4×6 inches; some are mixed media collages and others are drawings with coloured pencils and various inks. They are postcard art created on paper, not on my tablet, in about 15 minutes. I give each work a name before sharing it, and attach a note, handwritten in cursive, and then pop it into the mailbox for Canada Post. Although I do not create the postcard with a person in mind, my choice of postcard to send is very much linked to my thoughts about the person and what might bring them joy.
I am known in my family to be a letter writer, but I have reverted to What’s App to connect with friends and family abroad, now that planes have been grounded to India, and some to Europe as well. But the letters I write to my niece in Mumbai hold more than what I send via my phone. Unfortunately, my texts often amount to queries mining for information amidst sentiments of affection and concern, rather than narrative written with the flourish of my fountain pen. Not being able to travel anywhere beyond where my bicycle can take me, I let my pandemic postcards travel on my behalf.
Last month was a busy one for Viswali Consulting and that meant no blogpost for April 2021. One year into the pandemic, I am especially grateful to my clients for the work that they bring to me. I am fortunate. I am enjoying the complexity of the issues that we work on together. Over the summer, I will be updating this website to share some of our completed projects, those in development, and information about new services and opportunities for collaboration.
All artworks by Leela Viswanathan on Clairefontaine ‘Flying Spirit’ 4×6 inch notebook paper. First image: “Ode to parks and public transit”. Collage with magazine cut-outs, water soluble pastels, stickers, washi tape, and coloured pencils.