I've been reading articles and blog posts about writing in times of pandemic, isolation, quarantines. Some see this as a kind of writing freedom, space free from everyday tasks, and that's certainly true. The blankness of my calendar is welcome. How many times have I wished to shed responsibilities for being somewhere, at a meeting, in a classroom, at an event? Each of these things would have seemed fun or exciting when I made the plans. Then when the time to go, get ready, go out the door came, often I'd just wish I could stay home and read a book or sit on my ass.
Well, I'm sitting on my ass now. And I must admit, yes, I DO like not having to be anywhere. In some ways, it's everything I every fantisized about or wished for or dreamed of. But. But. But. It's so blasted hard not to give yourself new jobs, tasks to be completed, reasons why you should be writing, thinking, painting, somehow taking advantage of this great pause. The more I try to focus, the harder it is to focus. It's some kind of perverse rule. The opposite of restful meditation. My mind wants to jump around and not settle.
The other articles I have been reading have been about not writing. Blogs with titles like "It's OK Not to Write." I want to embrace these sentiments, and feel OK about not doing something. Not doing anything. Because somehow when I let go of these virus-inspired obligations, then i actually really do feel like writing something, or painting something, putting things together, reviewing old drafts, compiling work. It feels like resting, and resting well, in this groove. Words pour through my fingers onto the keyboard and thoughts flow from my pen onto notebook pages. And paintings look like they might come together afterall.
I'm not going to count the days of the shelter-in-place orders. And I'm not going to force any productivity goals on myself either. I'm going to let these days flow the way they want. And if a day goes by and I don't do a damn thing, so what. :)