QUARANTINE CHRONICLES: Monday
We are in the land of the novel, the exotic. It feels like an apocalypse at 3:00 o’clock in the morning. By 10:00 o’clock in the morning I wish I had taken an ambien. By 12:00 o’clock I am writing a book with my twin sister, Abbie, via google doc, thrashing and hashing out ideas, polishing language, shrieking or gagging at thigh slappers, chewing over old pages. At 3:00 o’clock I plot my next two audio books, practice the piano where I sight read pieces that I played when I was seven, sketch the same dress for days and dream that one day, someday soon, I will get a haircut to renovate the droop on the top of my head and recapture it’s geometry, which, embarrassingly, will nourish my self esteem.
In the midst of all this new encumbered time, I am certain we can all learn something useful about ourselves. Being a person prone to sweet seclusion there is something yummy about being ensconced in this quarantine situation. It’s hard to look into other people’s soup when you can’t see or be with them. What a thing. I am finding fine blips of creativity, meditation, and more vivid dreams. I am in isolation with my husband and one of my grown children. It has been challenging as well as a great joy. They are both foodies and wonderful cooks and politically engaged. My son is a great friend and confidant and one of the most creative people I know. I speak to my other son weekly. He is equally imaginative, a musician, who blows me away with his great critiques of the human condition through his music. With my husband, we are still learning, after all these years together, new places to travel emotionally, new ways of resolving tensions, and braving apologies. He yelled at me one day last week ( a first since we married) , when I suggested that since he wasn’t biking these days, perhaps he should….. eat…..bla bla bla...exercise...bla bla bla. He sent me flowers that very afternoon. He’s a very polite guy and grew up as an only child so he never learned sibling strife. Marital friction isn’t his cup of tea.
Finding little pleasures, or big ones, navigating freak outs, and disagreements in this extended time together has actually been a goody bag.
TWO MONDAYS’ LATER:
Very large HOWEVER…..it’s not over. Two weeks have gone by since writing the above paragraphs. My family shared our Zoom Seder with my siblings, children, nieces and nephews, siblings and girlfriends and boyfriends of said children and nieces and nephews. We all wrote part of the service as well as a scintillatingly silly version of the Jews enslavement and subsequent liberation which is today the story of everyone’s personal liberation from the fears, relationships, delusions that enslave us in our own lives. It was a new and affirmative breath into the rituals we have created in our quarantine. What really moved most of us, if not all, was the moment we all shared how each of us were doing, emotionally, and how we would like to proceed during this national nightmare and how we see ourselves helping other people less fortunate. It seems that we are in a tale of two cities. We are so much more fortunate that most. Less privileged communities in New York, and I’m certain the rest of the country, are suffering and dying hideously and unimaginably. The uncertainty, fear, access to healthy food, crowded living conditions and many who were living on the edge before the virus invaded, is killing so many. Since my hubby is in the social justice world, we are steeped in stories that probably don’t reach most of my neighbors. The Jew’s enslavement in Egypt, and our subsequent liberation became a moral backdrop for enslavement throughout our history. And forgive my current critique, but the Jews in Israel aren’t doing so well morally with their neighbors, the Palestinians.
ALMOST A MONTH AFTER OUR SEDER: END OF APRIL
Holy crapola, it is the end of April and I have to begin to assess the economics of making another collection and manufacturing my Fall/Winter line, my most fertile, yet. Between vision and execution, so much can happen and in this season’s case, the world has transformed. My guess is that there will be a gamble, somewhere between the heroic and the foolish. Reality is often such a bummer. And as antsy as I am to get started again and to face the world outside of the bubble of my quarantine, the need to take a peek through the cracks of isolation beckons . My sister’s yoga zoom classes are huge and I am still her demonstrator as she sits close to the computer in my living room, critiquing her students, listening to their woes, and offering theoretical insights as my son, Sammy and I demonstrate and hold the poses for what seems like a lifespan or two. My yoga practice is never better and as I have been joined by my son, Sam, it’s sublime. He is, of course, perfect in every way and I am honored to be in quarantine with him, although he is getting utsy. We all are. And as I have mastered the art of being alone within this shared restrictive time and space, I begin to look out at the wilderness that is New York City and determine what comes next.