Hope Springs Eternal

By C.J. Lori | September 2, 2020

It was a curious juxtaposition. It was late April, the height of the Coronavirus outbreak in the Boston area where I live. The news was dreadful daily, increasing numbers of cases, hospitalizations, deaths. But all around, spring was blooming like never before. My 91-year-old mom remarked on it daily, never having seen this season with such a bounty of blossoms. Substantial rains in late March had produced a glorious display outside our windows. Was it a sign of hope for the future or was nature simply mocking our stay-at-home advisories?

Still, we were encouraged to put on our masks and walk outside, so we did. Long, revelatory meanders to track the progress of local forsythia, cherry, lilac, dogwood, and crabapple. And flowers growing everywhere. But my euphoria was tinged with a melancholy that felt familiar. The simultaneous beauty and horror resonated deep within, as this duality had been the focus of my painting for years. I have always been a surrealist, and it felt as if the times were catching up with me. I felt uprooted, as if the world had become as surreal as my imagination. As May turned into June, we walked and waited for the lindens to bloom, seeing for the first time just how abundant those fragrant trees are in the neighborhood. We saw on TV the daily numbers going down and hoped we would emerge from dark days to flower again ourselves.


“Spring is in the Air,” oil on canvas, 24″ x 30″ (2020).

“Spring is in the Air” is currently on view at 13 Forest Gallery, 167A Mass. Ave., Arlington, MA

Copyright © 2020 C.J. Lori
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  1. Saba Karim Khan on September 2, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    This piece was really evocative, in the most beautiful, powerful way. Thank you for writing it!

    • C.J. Lori on September 3, 2020 at 9:40 am

      Thank you, I am so pleased that you found it moving!

  2. Marsha Nouritza Odabashian on September 8, 2020 at 9:20 am

    CJ, your painting and writing are compelling. A perfect expression for hope during the pandemic!

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