April 8, 2020
I had to just look up the date. Is it March? April? Quarantinuary? Coronember? The days blend together. I’m in a never-ending present. In my house. With my kids. Doing the same thing every day. Cooking, applying for loans, sewing masks. And repeat.
I’ve started making courtesy masks. In my previous life, I constructed other garments - ponchos, dresses, depending on the season. Now a corner of my kitchen has been devoted to production of just one item. My waiting list, after a single post on social media, is daunting. I’m sewing as fast as I can. My bedroom bureau is the shipping department. Envelopes, stamps, a food scale. Not anything I ever imagined two months ago but here we are.
It’s quiet, this life. And it’s stressful. Working with the government to try to get the rent covered on my shop. Educating myself on the differences between the PPP and the EIDL. Waiting to hear back from unemployment like one might await a hummingbird to alight on one’s nose. Reading the news. Worrying about people, small p and big P. Trying to imagine what the next twelve to eighteen months will hold, wondering how to navigate it. All from within the confines of my house, my favorite, most comforting place. While in my pajamas.
I know that most every cogent being on this planet is having a very weird time. We’re all in our own envelope of quandary. The specifics might vary from person to person but everyone is affected and everyone, on some level, is afraid. Strangely, possibly sadistically, it’s helpful for me to remember that. I’m in the vacuum of my own thoughts and worries, with little social interaction to distract or diffuse. It’s easy to get lost and overwhelmed. It’s easy to lose hope. If I can remember that everyone I love, everyone I know, everyone I DON’T know, is struggling, too, I don’t feel so alone.
I just listened to the novelist George Saunders read an email to his creative writing students. He advised them to write about their experience through this time, to do so with an open heart, because we’re going to need to process this and sometimes it’s the artists that help do that. So I’m writing to you, dear reader, with an open heart. That open heart is scared. And daring to hope. And grieving for what was. And wondering, with awe, what will be, after this virus has had it’s way with us. I’m reaching for you, from this quiet of quarantine. Hope you're doing ok.