Joely Smith’s reflections

What emotions did this exhibit evoke in you?

It is strange to articulate in writing. My emotions were a feeling of “this is a moment in time which mirrors loss and the unknown experiences of the past. A feeling of life at a standstill for months and the slow resurgence of hope, laughter and love.”

After reading the panel on silence, were there any moments of silence during the pandemic that you found impactful in your own life?

Yes, the starkness, solitude, and silence – how quickly the comfort of the lives were living changed. No cars on the roads, parking lots empty at work, no children outside, families separated.

Were there any clips that spoke to your experience during the pandemic? How so?

The death of the frog. Losing a loved one during the pandemic. Not being able to say goodbye. Restrictions on international travel would not allow me to fly to England. The inability to mourn with others. For the children to have been able to talk, experience, and bury a little frog brought real emotions to my mind and heart.

Knowing that listening generates questions, not answers, what questions are you left with at the end of this experience?

Makes me think of what families must have experienced in WWII. They had lives, loves, jobs, children to rear. Then silence, it all stopped. How did they support each other during the unknown? What did they do to encourage their children? Whether the children of the past or the children of today, they see life with joy for each new day. What are we doing differently in today’s world to make sure our children are loved, supported and listened to?

Please share thoughts about yourself as a listener and how this experience may have changed your perception of the act of listening. How can listening encourage us to ‘pay attention’ to what is happening around us?

It’s about being mindful that we must slow our lives down. Really listen to what our children are saying. Stop the hamster wheel. Get back to basics. Get back to our roots, which for almost everyone in the world, is FAMILY. Hearing the panel on the ‘doorbell ringing’ when a parent is picking up a child from KRP. The joy of children trying to decipher which parent has arrived. Simple joy, someone is going home.

In your opinion, is there anything we could do to enhance this experience?

I truly believe what you have created is historic. These children will grow up. One day, they and/or future historians will be able to look back and listen/learn what they were saying during the COVID 19 pandemic. So much data to pull from.

Thank you, Joely Smith