I've just reached day 50 of quarantine. Day 50. I can't believe it. I feel as though it's a milestone that requires/deserves/demands celebrating but of course all the things I'd like to do to celebrate are temporarily not allowed. But how temporary is temporary?
Nobody really knows how long this way of life is going to last, do they? I certainly don't. I've been living day by day, not making many plans, keeping my head down and spending more time at home than I ever have before. Like everybody else in the world who isn't an essential worker. It's scary. And as an artist, I want to be documenting this time in some significant way - writing, making video blogs, I don't know, just something. (And I am making a documentation of sorts - see self portrait project in a future blog post), but it doesn't feel significant in the way I want it to. Listening to Patti Smith's audiobook Just Kids has got me inspired about her ability to draw and write poetry and live and learn and observe and continue to create no matter what sets her back. And it's also got me reminiscing on what I miss from the world as I used to know it. So I'm dedicating this post to things I love that feel lost to me right now.
I love op shopping. So much. I love the ethics of it. Something that has been worn and cherished and loved and gifted and now belongs to me. And often it is something unlike what I have seen in stores and online, and makes me feel unique. I have been op shopping with ferocity since I was 15 or so and up until about a week ago, I didn't realise how much my identity is tied up with what I wear. And the ritual of consciously choosing to wear second hand. And seeking out pieces that are different, and bright and patterned and practical and impractical and loving each piece for the very fact that I'm the one who found it on that particular day. I have tried to satiate this compulsion by shopping online, on vintage websites and facebook marketplace, but it is not the same. Shopping is somewhat of a sensory experience for me. To touch and smell and see texture or shape is part of what makes the op shopping experience so rewarding. I can't wait to do it again. But I will wait. Because as much as I miss it, and crave to do it, I can live without it.
Another favourite pastime of mine. There's not much I love more than sitting in a cafe on a day off with a good book and a delicious coffee. I worked in cafes for years but the novelty still does not wear off. Now everyday is a day off, and while I still read while sipping on a cup of coffee or tea at home, it does not hold the same romance as the cafe experience.
Going to the gym.
Now for some reason this one's a little bit embarrassing to admit. But I absolutely love going to the gym. My gym routine looked a little like this: walk to the gym while listening to a podcast (My Favourite Murder probably), do a yoga or body balance class, walk home. The feeling after finishing a yoga class is the closest I've come to enlightenment, or what I imagine it to be. My body tingles, my mind is calm, I have a blissed out grin on my face and I feel completely whole. I have not yet been able to recreate any part of that at home. Yoga at home is something that I find tiresome and difficult. Not least of all because I don't have a good mat, but also because I am not motivated or committed in the same way as I am at the gym. It's difficult to describe but it's just not the same.
Going to the theatre and going to the cinema. These are things I adore doing with David, or with friends or alone. As much as I cherish time on the couch watching Netlix, I like it to be a choice. Watching live theatre has always been a grounding experience for me, along with a huge source of inspiration. I know some great art is going to come out of this time, but I'm impatient. I want it now.
There we go. A super privileged account of some of the things I'm missing during lockdown. I understand and regret that many people have it harder than me and this reflection feels somewhat insensitive and inconsiderate when I think of the bigger picture. But it is my experience. And it is how I'm feeling today. And I wanted to write it down so that I can remember.