I’m starting to record more of my feelings about COVID-19 and the lockdown, not just the facts. I know this is good for me, because – apart from one or two people – my journals are my safe place where I can say whatever I want.
Tomorrow at 4.30pm we find out when New Zealand will move from Level 4 to Level 3. As much as I want that tiny extra bit of freedom (and it will be tiny) what I really want is to only do this once. I’d rather wait a bit longer than have to start over. The stats from countries who locked down too late, or broke lockdown too early, are truly frightening.
There are a few New Zealand commentators – privileged white males mainly – who think we should worry more about the economy than about people. Men who think our empty ICUs and low number of deaths mean we “got it wrong” whereas it signals we got it exactly right. I hope those loud opinionated voices don’t win and cost us all the gains we have made as a country. I hope we are better than that.
Most weekends I spend time doing some art and craft. This weekend is no different; except of course it is. Easter is lockdown is a whole different animal – no going away for the weekend, no church gatherings (not that I would anyway), no dinner with friends. I was so tired by the end of the week I was hanging on by a thread, so four days away from my dining-room-table-home-office is a very good thing.
What have I done so far? Made cards. Made more cards. Coloured in stamped images. Worked in my art journals. What else will I do? paper, scissors, glue…
Art is how I process the world, and how I download what’s in my head. Now my staff are settled and safe, and we have a (sort of) routine I am sleeping a few more hours a night. With sleep comes bad dreams – anarchy on the streets, scary animals, and so on. My brain really can be a bitch. My dreams are usually a muddle of things I have seen, heard and read, all jumbled together, often with my long-dead parents in the mix. My art practice is vital to my mental wellbeing.
I’ve started a small 6×6” journal where I’m going to document a mix of facts and feelings during this COVID-19 journey. There are no feelings in it yet. I need to get the framework started before the feelings can pour out.
As with much of my art this about bringing lightness to, and shining light on, a difficult subject – hence the ‘pretty’ backgrounds and colours.
I’ve been a fan of the late Dr Wayne Dyer for decades and, through him, have learned to enjoy the Tao te Ching. I have a few quotes from the Tao on the wall above my desk that I read when I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed. They help ground and settle me.
We’re currently in lockdown due to COVID-19 and it’s unsettling. I’m going to make an art journal about the whole experience because art is how I process the work but, in the meantime, I’m using my art journals to help me feel balanced and calm in the chaos.
This is one of my favourite lines from the Tao and one of the quotes I have at work. I think it’s important we value our own unique place in the world. As I sometimes say to my staff when customers are being a bit ‘special’ – there’s infinite variety in the human condition!
This page is a lot brighter than this scan shows – we have a new scanner and I’m struggling to get the settings right.