the hindsight of 2020

I was on a spring break trip with students at a remote monastery in New Mexico. No wifi. No cell service. Only receiving emails through the main office at the monastery, almost like a telegram delivery, we learned that the world was shutting down due to the novel coronavirus labeled COVID-19. I had almost slidden off the road about 20 minutes before this photo was shot. I didn’t want to be in the picture, but they dragged me into it. Begrudgingly I agreed. I knew what was awaiting us once we got back connected to society.

Reading in one of New York magazine’s late March edition about things to do while on lockdown, suggestion #22 was to “take a well-lit nude.

I passed the monotony of the hours by photographing some of the mundane house chores that still needed to get done, trying to find excitement in the routine.

Shot on 35-70mm lens at 1/640 f/3.3-4.5 ISO 8000

In the face of isolation, connections and friendships were formed.

A lunch-time staple for me was fried salmon croquettes. I swung for the gates once and made a deep-dish Chicago style pizza.

Once the weather turned warmer, socially distanced meet ups on porches were something to look forward to.

Birthdays that needed to be celebrated in spite of.

Do Black Lives Matter, or just buildings?

Robert E. Lee monument, Richmond, Virginia

North Philadelphia, Juneteenth celebrations.

A son, his father. And his mother. Chicago.

Elevation 11,796′

Boys being boys.

The Outer Banks

Under a dark canopy. Katahdin Woods.

This is what democracy looks like.

Unmasked and unmuted joy. Biden wins.

Normalcy: snow in winter in Cambridge.

Holiday zooming.

This chair.
If I had to reduce the balance of my experience to 2020, it comes back to this chair.
For every Zoom staff meeting, I sat in this chair.
Every weekend happy hour was in this chair.
I conducted interviews sitting in this chair.
I watched my aunt being funeralized in this chair.
This chair, to be honest, has to go.
I need a new one for 2021.

For more photos, follow me on Instagram @j.lawrence.photos

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