Backyard | Wenatchee, WA | April 2020

It’s clear, but really not so clear, that in this time of distancing we don’t perceive the whole picture. Signals we use to decipher moods and personalities are veiled behind masks or too distant to detect. Digital gatherings (think Zoom and FaceTime) filter voices and emotions crucial to interpreting the moment. We accept this, of course, because the alternative isn’t acceptable. We don’t want to get sick or, even worse, sicken someone else. So we’re all learning to read the new microexpressions behind and around our masks. You know: Ears lift with a smile, eyes narrow with a question, chins jut with determination. It’s like looking through fence slats (in photo) — a few visual markers allow our brains to conjure the rest.