By Greg Liotta
MARCH 2020: The Beginning of COVID at the ARCH, Austin, TX
COVID has turned our world upside down. The shelter has become a 24-hour triage zone, no relief in sight and no way to soothe the stress with human connection. We're all practicing avoiding the one thing we need to survive this. Somehow we've manifested a virus that exploits our drive for intimacy & closeness; that begs we isolate and distance ourselves from each other; that efficiently punishes the poor, elderly, and infirm the most; that originated "over there" so we can make a good case for keeping a "foreign invasion" out, reinforcing and justifying our xenophobia.
I woke up from a nightmare last night and realized I was dreaming about the way things actually are. I took a break with a co-worker and told her, "I was barely human today. Or perhaps more human. Maybe this whole thing means to reduce us to our essential humanness. It calls forth a deeper spring of self-compassion and humility to allow ourselves to be as human as we really are. It forces us to discard the shield of pretentiousness and come into the allowance of our shadows. It's scary. The rules of engagement are different in a war zone. We're in a foxhole with bullets flying all around, so perhaps we can be forgiven for being human today."
JUNE 2020: Sometimes the fire alarm in my apartment goes off because of heat or smoke and I get so annoyed I climb up and pull the battery out. I'd rather risk a fire than listen to that annoying sound. I'll stick the battery back in when the fire Marshall comes up for inspection, and take it back out as soon as he leaves. I like living on the edge. I like the comfort of my hair on fire a little bit.
I have never given birth but I imagine a mother watching her child writhing in the fires of fear & hatred would burn from the pit of her belly. I imagine a mother in love with her children would do anything to talk her child down from a cliff, including setting herself on fire.
There is an undeniable correlation between the collective consciousness of humanity and the current health of the earth: dying coral reefs, shifting polar vortex, drastic climate change, melting glaciers & rising oceans, mass die-offs of sea life, air-borne virus', burning forests…
Mother Earth is in hospice and we're like the kids that don't come visit.
She is the physical expression of our collective soul.
When does the fire Marshall come?
Greg Liotta, MSW is an artist, coach, and transpersonal counselor who was born and raised in NYC. At an early age Greg began using art as a means of transforming childhood trauma, incorporating several medium - from pastels to acrylics to digital, - from spoken word to fashion to writing- as he expanded his palette. Always seeking to explore the edges of the unconventional, Greg brought a creative brush to his work with inner-city youth, professional men as well as addicts in recovery. He became a Certified Co-Leader with the Mankind Project in 1997, and for +20 years has been leading transformational retreats and groups. Greg was featured in Recovery View Magazine in 2017 with the article, "Digital Art as a Tool for Recovery" as he shifted to digital art as a pathway to recovery from trauma. He seeks to use vibrant color to evoke a "visual reiki" effect, encouraging viewers to breathe the colors in as they gaze upon his work.
Greg currently lives with the love of his life, Jon Snow, 4 year old Boxer-mix where he continues to integrate a broad palette in his quest to create freedom in his life and those he touches.
Greg can be reached at email@example.com / 512-867-5470