I have struggled to figure out what I should be saying on social media. It all seems absolutely (kind-of-sort-of) irrelevant. What could I possible have to say to a world suffering from a pandemic?
Still, I think of writing my blog as part of my job as an artist and quiltmaker. So, I am going to just show up, and be present, and see what happens next.
Earlier this month, just as the US was moving from life as we know it, to shelter in place, I went to Los Angeles to teach for the LA Modern Quilt Guild. My flight left at 6AM on Friday morning March 13. During the course of those morning flights from Anchorage to Seattle to LA, I began to doubt the wisdom of flying and teaching. I scribbled a blog post about that as I flew.
The LAMQG had planned well, and we had an incredibly large classroom. But as the weekend progressed, we went from an acceptable gathering to a quarantine violating meeting. Each day, the rules of social interaction got more and more limiting.
By the time I flew home on Monday afternoon March 15, I knew that our oldest son needed to fly home too. Between my flights, I booked him a trip to Anchorage in the hopes that we would all be together for whatever came next.
That was two weeks ago.
For the first week, I grabbled with how I was going to manage all three sons under the Alaska shelter-in-place requirements. The food preparation alone was daunting to think about. Layered on top of that, all three of them would be participating in online classes starting Tuesday, March 31. In the meantime, THEIR plan was to game all night and sleep all day.
I became the bad guy.
While I am cooking, and cleaning, and opinuating on gaming, I am thinking, “When are I going to get the work done for my show at Shelburne? How the hell is that going to happen?”
And to be completely honest, I am worn out. I have been on-the-go for about four years now. I am eternally grateful for all of the teaching, and lecturing, and exhibiting opportunities I have had, but each one of them requires me to get up and go over and over again.
Last Tuesday, the Shelburne Museum let me know that they would be postponing my exhibition until May 2021. (Thank you. Thank you.)
At that point, I went into collapse mode. I mean, really, what am I going to do next? Well, the truth is that I am going to do exactly what you are doing. I am going to hunker down and hope for the best.
I am walking and hiking. Alaska Covid-19 mandates clearly state that recreating is absolutely allowed as long as you stay six fee apart.
I am—in a safe and prudent manner— going to the grocery store to stay stocked up. Feeding four dudes is a lot of food. Each trip brings surprises and letdowns—YES! They have chickpeas. NO. They don’t have Wildwood Extra Firm tofu.
I’m ZOOMING. Aren’t you? Can you even imagine an pandemic without modern technology? (Thank you. Thank you.)
And I am knitting. Okay, the knitting is a bit out of control, but the fact that I am writing a blog post means I have ever intention of reigning this obsession in.
I spent a week wringing my hands in confusion. I spent a week in trifling activities. And now it is time to get back to business. Are you with me?
Are you moving in a positive direction as you shelter in place? I wish everyone good mental and physical health. We may be six feet apart, but we can still be together.