Where to Now?

Hey Friends,

Here in Ventura we’re easing out of lockdown. The stores are beginning to reopen with restrictions on the number of people that can be inside. That means long lines waiting to get into the more popular stores, but no lines at all for some of the others. Our local used bookstore wasn’t crowded, so I spent some time there last week, and found a beautiful selection of old maps.

Maps became obsolete with the invention of GPS, but GPS isn’t nearly as interesting. I love the colors and patterns on the maps, and I chose four to use for a collage.

Maps represent looking for something, seeking a destination, and going somewhere. When I cut them into pieces for this collage, the way forward becomes unclear — perhaps a metaphor for our times.

Here’s the finished piece. Click on the image to see it larger in a browser.

Cassandra Tondro, "Where Are We Going?." coronavirus collage art

“Where Are We Going?,” 16 x 20 inches, collage on canvas panel

It was a shock when everything shut down a few months ago. Now it feels shocking that everything is opening back up. What’s up with that? I think it has to do with change and what I’ve become used to. I adapted to everything being closed, and now it’s all changing again. It’s unsettling. Are you feeling it, too?

What’s going on in your neck of the woods? Are you still in lockdown? Are you looking forward to being released from it? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.

With love and appreciation,



  1. I feel very much the same Cassandra, unsettled.
    I’ve been fairly confined for years because of a disability, but nothing like this.

    At first I thought I’d suffocate. The worst thing was not being able to visit my dad who is in a nursing home. We’ve had our first visit at last, the first since April 10, so that was good.

    But I realise I’ve lost all pleasure in shopping, whether street shops, or worst supermarkets and shopping malls.
    I find the traffic pretty unbearable. Some people seem so rude too, not respecting distancing, not wearing masks in public places and shouting at you if you ask them politely to back-up a bit, put their masks over their noses as well as mouths and stop breathing down your neck.

    During confinement we saw animals and insects we hadn’t seen in decades. Pollution has started-up again. So many cars on the roads, so much noise.

    I live in Provence, unfortunately not in a great town. It’s by the sea, the surroundings are magnificent, but the town itself is the reason I left when I was 18. I’m now back and in my mid-fifties. Brexit will prevent my dream of spending the rest of my life in Britain.
    The things I miss, I’ve missed since I’ve moved here: second hand bookshops (and obviously books in English), good textile and haberdasher shops… London had so much culture on offer too.

    I think France has started deconfinement too soon. Cashiers in supermarkets and bus drivers enforce distancing and mask wearing, providing gel for all.
    But restaurants and cafés? Even in in low risk zones like here. Soon the tourist season will start, annual invasion.
    Seeing as undisciplined the French have shown themselves to be, packed beaches, parks, regular small shops, I fear the tripling of the population over the summer months. Even weddings are back on. Good for the bride & groom, but no social distancing there, it couldn’t possibly be enforced.

    I’ve found myself to be less distracted and more productive during confinement. (Having a tiny balcony and a lovely view helped).
    I miss the daily 8pm window or balcony cheering and clapping for all medical, para-medical staff, utilities workers, and all the unseen people who have, by their work, often ill protected, kept us going. The unspoken heroes.
    The day the confinement ended so did the thanks. The sense of ‘distanced’ but united community we had built has gone back to indifference.

    I used to dream about moving back to London. Now I’d be happier visiting to see friends, exhibition, the creative spirit that seems to float in the air, but living in a cottage with a nice garden in a little village in the South West. Quiet and nature…

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us Cassandra, and also for allowing us to follow your creative journey during these past months.
    Stay safe.

    Warm regards,

    1. Hi Chloe. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Yes, the traffic and crowds have started back up here, too. People don’t seem to care, and it’s discouraging. My fantasy is to move to the woods where there are no other peole around — just me, the trees and the animals. Of course I couldn’t survive that way without other people. Lockdown was hard, but going back to “normal” is even harder. I don’t want to go back to what was before, and I don’t know what to do about that.

      1. Thank you for your reply Cassandra.

        Again I feel very much the same. Nature, fresh air, animals…
        Since February everyone -except the president of the US- has stressed how life post confinement, (the virus will unfortunately stay with us till a vaccine and/or cure is found, which is why I am so mad at people’s carelessness), would have to be a green one, that the environment, the way animals are treated in battery farming and tortured in abattoirs in unsanitary conditions, how businesses would be held responsible for polluting water and soil, how carbon emission would have to be treated very seriously.

        And yet it seems all is forgotten and that ‘new way of life’ has suddenly lost its appeal. Masks and used gloves litter the streets, beaches, parks..

        I hate to be pessimistic, but I don’t think the collective ‘we’ has learned anything while people keep on dying around the world. I don’t think there is much to be done individually. And those organisations that truly want to change the way we live for a better future are gagged and tied by politicians, billionaire corporations and lobbyists. Social and racial inequalities have been made more obvious than ever. The way so many people live, crowded, poor, discriminated against and often persecuted or worse because the colour of their skin.
        I had hope we would stand united…

        Let’s hope the penny will drop.

        Meanwhile your posts, pictures of your work and photographs are a blessing. Thank you.

        Warm regards,

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