Magnificent Works of Art Created During Turbulent Times

Did you know that William Shakespeare wrote King Lear while in quarantine from the bubonic plague?

There’s more . . .

In 1606, when the bubonic plague returned to England, wreaking havoc on Londoners, Shakespeare completed three of his greatest tragedies: King LearMacbeth, and even Antony and Cleopatra.

Experts believe that Shakespeare completed Antony and Cleopatra in July of 1606 after the plague forced the closure of his venue, the Globe Theatre.

That was over 400 years ago. Admittedly, Shakespeare, didn’t have the same distractions to occupy his mind that we have available today. Try picturing Shakespeare binge-watching Netflix, crushing it on Candy Crush, and shouting at the TV during a 90-Day Finance marathon: “To propose, or not to propose; that is your question?!”

Yet, even in today’s times, with all of our distractions and the stresses that come along with living in a pandemic, we each have the choice to see and seize opportunities.

Take Rafael Scasserra for example. He is a husband and a father who lives in my community.

Like Shakespeare, this current pandemic forced the closure of his venue. (Rafael’s “venue” is Xpression the Salon. For over 20 years, I have known Rafael as a hair stylist and salon owner.)

Also like Shakespeare, while in quarantine, Rafael used the time to create original works of art. This is when I saw another side of him emerge – Rafael the artist!

During the stay-at-home orders, he picked up his paints, paintbrushes, and canvas and began painting. Then, for the first time in 35 years, he shared his work! Blown away by his art, I commissioned Rafael to paint an abstract. (You can see it at the bottom of this post.)

This stunning painting, now hanging in my home, serves as a beautiful reminder . . .

It’s a reminder that good things can – and do – come out of turbulent times. It’s a reminder that there are seeds of opportunity in the middle of difficulty. And, it’s a reminder that sometimes what looks like an end is actually a beginning.

We are all entering a new beginning together. The entire world has changed—and is continuing to do so. During this time of transition, trust that good things can – and will – come out of it. Believe there are opportunities for you – and seize those opportunities.

Don’t do these things because you think you should. (We need to stop should-ing on ourselves.) Instead, reflect on and take advantage of opportunities because doing so will allow you to enjoy less stress and more success. Share your unique gifts (whether it’s painting, writing, or anything in between) with others because doing so will continue to make this changing world of ours a better place. Do so because you can!

And, you really, really can!

All my best,

Denise Marek

P.S. You can check out Rafael’s work on Instagram @rafaelscasserra_art. Happily, the doors to Xpression the Salon are open again . . . and Rafael continues to paint!

P.S.S. Check out this throwback video on YouTube. In it I say, “Believe in possibilities, focus on what you can do, and take action.” Very fitting for my message today. Though this world continues to change, sound principles are constant.