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Thoughtful Thursday: Taking Risks

"What we call the wisdom that comes with age is usually simple caution." -Jessica Zafra

The current chief pastime among family and friends is the great vaccination search, securing appointments as far away as Leonardtown, downtown Baltimore, Six Flags in Largo and next door in Denton. No journey too far will deter those of us who remain vigilant about the virus safety protocols. We haven’t gone to church, eaten in restaurants, hugged our grandchildren, gathered with family, gone to the movies, baseball games, weddings, graduations or even grocery shopping in a year. This vaccine is a passport to return to some semblance of normalcy.

Those of us who fall within the category of most at-risk and have escaped the horrors of this virus, behave with great caution. Our actions are measured, ever vigilante of the potential spreader among us. Once vaccinated, there is a comfort that although you may become infected, it probably won’t be catastrophic. The vaccine provides the assurance that the other measures of mask, social distancing and handwashing will adequately shield you from harm. It comes down to feeling safe, secure and protected.

I am not a risk taker; I don’t metaphorically jump into the deep end. I dip a toe to test the waters before proceeding. That is why adhering to CDC guidelines regarding COVID was a no-brainer for me and the same reason why I haven’t tried Mountain Oysters or online dating (in my younger years). And this is one more reason why I respect artists.

Although we admire the confidence and skill it takes to create the finished works of art, it is the act of sharing their art that categorizes the artist as a risk-taker! The artist operates from their most vulnerable while struggling with a mental chorus of, “ will they like it, understand it, appreciate it.” While it takes great courage to expose oneself to the critiques and opinions of others, it is the very nature of showing, displaying and sharing art. Artists paint for themselves, tweaking and revising until what they see matches what they envision. They challenge themselves to capture feelings and emotions as visual, giving their work a depth beyond the observable. And for every piece of art hanging on a gallery wall or posted on social media, there is a larger cache of paintings hiding in a closet that the artist feels is not quite ready for the risk. To experience art in a safe, secure and risk-free environment, visit our gallery in Chestertown or online at

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