I’ve been doing this thing lately where I wake up at around 1am and can’t go back to sleep for several hours. While we’re all trying to stay home during this pandemic, time has lost its rigidity; I can nap in between digital obligations, the line between daytime clothes and nighttime clothes has blurred or disappeared altogether, impending shows or deadlines are now all canceled or in flux, so I’m struggling to be motivated to be productive. “Is this thing I’m working towards still happening, even?”
The week they announced schools would be closed, I’d just had a horrific week without a ton of alone time to process things, and I welcomed the idea of quiet, stillness, and a break from the routine. For a few days, I delighted in the stillness. I wrote. I drank coffee. I re-read old journals. I cleaned.
Over a week in, with who knows how long we have to go, I have to stare down my demons. Usually, I jam pack my schedule so tightly that I need to leave one obligation early to arrive at the next one late, and that way I’m flooded with — what? — relief, intermittently: “Whew! I made it!” Adrenaline, dopamine. What I wouldn’t give to be racing down the highway, right now, one eye on the clock, a sense of purpose and urgency. I’m now on withdrawal from that chemical cycle, and I acknowledge that it is possible — possible — that I use “busy” as a self-numbing defense. A crutch I’m now without.
We’re being asked, collectively, to prioritize. To love and care for our neighbors by staying away from them. This is love. Love in action. Empty concert halls are love. Empty stadiums are love. This love is a struggle, it’s painful, it’s inconvenient, it involves hardship and sacrifice and lost income and tons of fear and uncertainty. It is love nonetheless.
I daydream about before this began. Thinking nothing of walking through busy hallways. Pawing through clothes in a store. Adjusting a student’s hands on their guitar. Borrowing a pencil. I daydream about when this ends. The gigs, the hugs, the reunion with loved ones. Man. We should all walk around positively giddy when that happens again.
So we’re alone, together, for the time being and it’s temporary. I identify as an introvert; but I realize balance is key for me. Too much time around others, I’m drained and need alone time in order to check in, recharge. Too much time alone, I can become self absorbed, and need others in order to remind me my thoughts and perspectives are not the only reality. My problems are not the only problems.
I hope you are safe and I’m so proud of you for doing what we’re doing.
You are an amazing writer and a wise, insightful, perceptive human. Keep writing.
Sent from my iPhone