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Thursday, April 16, 2020


Copyright @ 2019 Nancy Barra, "Contemplation", oil on canvas, 27.6" x 19.7, from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo.

When we reject what is socially accepted 
but do not know which way to go...

When we do not see our path in life very clear....

When fear of making a mistake prevents us 
from making decisions....

When we feel powerless and controlled...

When we feel isolated and confused...

When we wonder about death...

Then, we are facing uncertainty.

Copyright @ 2004  Tetsuya Ishida,"Lost Child"8.7" x 10.8" in acrylic and oil on canvas

In our modern world we are trained to minimize uncertainty by using our rational mind. We are taught that we are in charge of our destiny and as such, we are responsible for the outcomes of our actions. 

However, every time the unexpected happens, preventing our expected results, we experience disappointment, anguish, sadness and sense of failure. What did I do wrong? Why did this have to happen to me? What could I have done to avoid it?

Copyright @ 2003 Nancy Barra, "Reflection on the rocks",  photograph,
 Andrew´s Point, Rockport, Massachusetts. 

The problem is that the unexpected happens all the time throughout our life and we are not trained to deal with it. 

Uncertainty is an essential component of the human life experience. Our rational mind tricks us to think that we can have control of our plans, which in essence is a temporary illusion.

Copyright @ 2016 Lamont County-Alberta, Canada, "Storm coming", photograph.

Now, as a planet, we are living one of these times, where social isolation, uncertainty plus disinformation seems to be the norm. 

Copyright @ Hopper, "At Eleven AM", Oil on canvas

The rational approach to this situation seems chaotic, contradictory and useless when you lose control of your daily routine. 

Copyright © 2017 Pintrest "Stress Paintings"

The forced social isolation  invites us to use our intuition, gut feelings, adaptation skills, humor, fantasy and imagination in order for us to understand and deal with the uncertainty we are living.

Copyright @ 2020 Annonymous, Whatsap, "Quarantine Creative Photography".

This experience has been a well deserved rest and healing for our contaminated Mother Earth. The Himalayas and Los Andes, hidden by air pollution, can now be seen clearly in all their majestic beauty in Punjab, India and Santiago, Chile, respectively.

          Punjab, India, 2020, "Himalayans reveal in quarantine time"

Santiago, Chile, 2020, "Mountain View without pollution during quarantine".

Do people think that being forced to be with our families has romantically strengthened the quality of their interactions? I am not so sure about this since we now spend more time on the Internet and plugged to our cellular phones looking for answers. Uncertainty demands more contact, information and reassurance among people in isolation.

Copyright © 2014 Bansky, in:"Banksy’s New Mural Mocks Smart Phone Distracted Lovers" from

However, maybe this situation of uncertainty is also an invitation to learn how to be with ourselves. To learn to be alone without feeling inadequate and lonely. Of course, this is valid only if everybody has the basic means for economic survival and, you or your loved ones are not seriously ill.

Copyright @ 2020 Kristina Varaksina , "House husband", Photography

Copyright @ 2009 Nancy Barra, "Anticipation" Oil on canvas,
22" x 28", from: Nancy Barra Contemporary Art/Arte Contemporáneo

I have the feeling that this long social isolation and uncertainty -never experienced before in our planet- cannot be dealt just with the rational approach but is inviting a new perspective that involves our instinct, imagination and emotions so we can face and process the imminent transition to a new era. 

Copyright @ 2010, Nancy Barra, "Gancho Coto", pastel on paper, 18" x 14"

I do not know how this new era could be, but I can envision it as something much better than yesterday. That is my prerogative. I can dream and create in my heart the vision of a new society, where laughter, generosity, compassion and creativity are the norm. And why not? I do not know how this new era can come about but I am sure that my vision makes me joyful and detached from fear.

Copyright © 2015 from:

In the end, we might be disappointed with the results, but we will be grateful for learning to appreciate the positive side of uncertainty. It teaches us to be humble, vulnerable and in solidarity with others spiritually, as we feel connected at a planetary level through our own human fragility.

Uncertainty has also triggered our potential to dream better solutions, to discern well intended people from the negative and manipulative ones both in governments and corporations, and it has forced us to think more critically despite the controlled mass media.

The portrait of Matt Cain, painted by Canadian Andrew Salgado

Uncertainty teaches us a lesson that all already knew but tend to forget in our planned oriented existence: "Everything in life has a silver lining".

Dedicated to 
the quarantine dreamers 2020 of the world