It’s midway through the third month of shelter-in-place and strangely, this surreal stage play has become normal. And just as that has happened, the world begins to re-open.
I think as restrictions loosen and things change into what will be our new and different world, I am going to have trouble adjusting.
Over and over in my mind I keep wondering what I will go back to in this new version of life and conversely what won’t I return to—braggarts and bores, gas-guzzling road trips, excessive salon visits, unnecessary errands and spending, a heavily-ladened calendar?
That seems wise.
In the beginning, my forced isolation had the feeling of an oatmeal existence, bland and lumpy. As shelter-in-place progressed, I added toppings. Yummy sparks of sweet and tang. More time in my garden, a dive back into art—collage and drawing.
Even crafted a poem. Masquerade Queries.
I planted gladiolas and lifted a few weights. I watched more television—binged on both Run on HBO and State of the Union on Amazon Prime—and washed my dishes by hand.
I spent time learning new things, thanks to a Mom's Day gift of Master Class from my daughter and The San Diego Museum of Art remarkable website and posts. I must admit to playing mindless video games occasionally.
I removed everything from two large bookshelves in my living room and immersed myself in creating new vignettes of leather-bound books, framed photographs, items that belonged to my mother and my grandmother, and gifts from my best friends and children.
Reading became problematic for me; couldn’t seem to focus for extended periods of time. The Nickle Boys, Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning follow-up to The Underground Railroad, was a brilliant exception. I couldn’t put this book down. Elwood Curtis’ story stays in my heart.
I have certainly developed new habits. They say it takes twenty attempts to break or make a habit.
The face mask is now as essential as my car keys when going out the door. Lipstick is not.
Crowds and traffic are no longer part of my life; strolling the neighborhood is.
BYOB and wrapped sandwiches is the new way to gather. Small. In the past, mealtimes have offered fulfillment, prepared with tenderness and eaten with gratitude. Laughter, friendship and imagination soared within the rooms of my house. Not at this time. Instead solitude, slowness and a new kind of creativity are present.
Not touching has become habit. A habit that hurts. I long to huddle and hug.
My home today is a refuge. Its orderliness embraces me as I wander amid my possessions, objects of silence that serve up memories. There are no feasts. There is no companionship. And yet, I find strength in the walls of my home. Safe keeping peace inside and pandemic outside.
My good friend asked a thought-provoking question the other day; one I couldn’t answer at that time. I’m still wondering about it.
Kathee said, “What about you has changed in this pandemic?”
What about you has changed in this pandemic?
My book's launch date is May 28.
Thanks Marilyn. Lovely thoughts for these times. We actually like the new, slow pace
and economical living.
I so enjoyed the musings in the mail today: you have a great way with images and words! Unlumping oatmeal by adding goodness!
OK. I loved your new blog. You are amazing. I bought three of your new books. Can’t wait to get them. Things That have changed in my life are much more Mundane then your poeticizing. Let’s see, I need a haircut and color, I have time to floss every day now. I’ve adopted a Bluejay who follows me around in the backyard and I give him bread.I’m losing a lot of money to Bruce playing gin rummy every afternoon. I’m losing money playing bridge with you know who. Of course I have nothing to spend money on so it doesn’t matter.I’ve learned how to zoom, FaceTime and bbbridge. I think we’re going to make it.
Enjoy everything you write!! I can’t wait to read your book!!!😩❤️❤️