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The New Normal: Photos from a Year of Constant Transition

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For the entire year after my son was born, I craved the unattainable: routine. Twenty-four hours a day, my life was filled with fugitive moments of joy and terror, of frustration and exhaustion, of feelings of familiarity coupled with utter confusion.

I was looking for any sort of expected response to stimuli, a predictable schedule, behavior I could build on, but I never found it. I supposed this is why, when you ask any parent the age of their small child, the response always comes in months–not years. With a newborn human, every few weeks brings a radical change and this impacts every aspect of your life: when and what to eat, how much sleep you get, and it’s impossible to plan much in between.

In many ways 2022 provided a fresh new beginning for all of us. After two years of crippling restriction and fear of one another, we began to emerge from pandemic hibernation. Public spaces and events trickled back into our lives, and suddenly, it was ok to show your face again, unmasked, and to breathe the same air.

Although this collective awakening was a welcome relief, it also brought about a number of unexpected problems to solve, a multitude of deferred maintenance to address. For many of us, this year presented unprecedented changes in home and work life, and some of them were joyful beyond expectation and others profoundly painful lessons to learn. Like the first year of parenthood, our lives in 2022 never settled into predictable patterns and our environment–whether work, home, local, or global–constantly offered up new paradigms, roadblocks, but  occasionally, moments of clarity and revelation.

For myself, I continue to find meaning in the questions that percolate in my brain and keep me awake at night. I am not sure if there are clear answers to any of them, but I know that pursuing them in work, conversation, and relationships, is the best way forward. At the end of 2022, I feel grateful and proud to have built a few solid structures that I can count on. This scaffolding is the glue that binds me to the friends, family, process, collaborators, and community which inspires me and offers teachable moments.

No matter what, the sun continues to cast golden light and mysterious shadows, rendering the familiar objects of our lives beautiful and different. Our children grow and change into complex creatures who are sometimes unrecognizable. Relationships evolve. Summers continue to burst with scent and color. Physical exertion and motion keeps us in the moment. The gorgeous individuals we encounter in everyday life and work captivate and fill us with curiosity.  We are not the same people we were even a year ago. We react, double down, swallow our pride, and make amends. We are exhausted and often lost, but remain determined. We are changed forever by moments of brilliance and loss.

The “new normal” of 2022 offered very little in order, typicality, or conventional routine, but perhaps this is what we need in order to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead in 2023.

The following images by Jill Fannon remind us of who we were in 2022, arranged month by month in chronological order. Happy New Year.

 

Birds, January, 2022
Fish Pond, January 2022
Dog toy at Jordans, January 2022
Dog toy at Jordans 2, January 2022
Baltimore City memorial service for Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and Firefighter Kenny Lacayo, February, 2022
Baltimore City memorial service for Lt. Paul Butrim, Lt. Kelsey Sadler, and Firefighter Kenny Lacayo, February, 2022
CIAA Women's Basketball Virginia Union women versus No. 10 Claflin, February 2022
CIAA Women's Basketball Virginia Union women versus No. 10 Claflin, February 2022
Playground, March, 2022
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, March 2022
Flower Portrait, March 2022
Portrait March 2022
Cherry Blossoms April, 2022
Tulip Garden, April 2022
MICA Fashion Show, April 2022
After Dinner, April 2022
MICA Fashion Show, April 2022
MICA Fashion Show, April 2022
Flowers, April 2022
Federal Hill, May 2022
BMA Sculpture Garden, May 2022
Basketball, May 2022
Grapefruit and Aloe, May 2022
Portrait, May 2022
Lilies, June 2022
Block Party, June 2022
Drag Brunch Harbor Cruise, June 2022
Portrait, June 2022
Portrait, June 2022
American Flag, June 2022
MICA, July 2022
Mera Kitchen Collective, July 2022
Love Groove, August 2022
Garden at Gertrude's, August 2022
Waverly Farmers Market, August 2022
Waverly Farmers Market, August 2022
Gertrude's Restaurant, August 2022
Cheerleader, September 2022
Alyssa Dennis, September 2022
Alyssa Dennis, September 2022
Street Food, October 2022
Center Stage Baltimore, October 2022
Comic Con, October 2022
Indoor Pool, November 2022
Baltimore Inner Harbor, November 2022
BSA Nutcracker, December 2022
Lake Clifton, December 2022
Monument Lighting, December 2022
BSA Nutcracker, December 2022
BSA Nutcracker, December 2022
BSA Nutcracker, December 2022
Lake Clifton, December 2022
Lake Clifton, December 2022
Lake Clifton, December 2022
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