Creativity in the Time of COVID19
( or lack of creativity in the these Corona Times, from May 2020 )
I could pull a hundred excuses out of my rear end in an attempt to explain away my failure to seize these days of isolation and down time to try and do some work on at least a half a dozen manuscripts that are just strewn about awaiting resuscitation. In January I had banged out the rough draft of my first children's story, started working on ideas for illustrations and had begun to put together a funding page.
When me, my wife and our son departed Norway for an extended stay in Carlisle UK my hopes and confidence were running high that at the conclusion of our 90 day stay I would be sitting on a nearly completed project with much of the necessary funding in place.
And then as we all know, things changed. Changed in ways that most of us could not imagine. The words "lockdown", "quarantine" and the terms "social distance" and "shelter in place" became commonplace.
My friends, my wife, everyone on the planet is crocheting, knitting, painting, solving complex anagrams as though they were Sherlock Holmes, and what am I doing? Nothing.
There is some obnoxiously talented painter in Eugene Oregon who is recreating the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in his living room using scaffolding and even dressing in garb reminiscent of Italian renaissance. Italian renaissance garb that his wife made by hand! Who the Hell are these disgustingly talented people! Meanwhile, I am creating nothing.
From the comfort of his parent’s basement, a 17 year old developed a virus tracking app that some medical professionals are referencing, this annoyingly gifted child is out there possibly saving lives while I contemplate which flavor Ramen I want. I mean, this kid is so amazing that it is almost offensive.
Even the gang of fun lovers down at PornHub are creating Covid19 content - not that I would know - I just read about it on the internet. But, yes, even the smut peddlers are more productive than yours truly.
Let us not overlook the massive swath of the population that have become self-taught chefs.
With so many people doing so many productive things while isolating I have been forced to take a hard look at myself, and this is what I came up with.
I am being productive. I am staying busy, busy staying alive. Busy changing diapers, mixing porridge and soothing a baby who has his first teeth busting through. I have also been busy tracking the changes in the travel policies of two governments, busy figuring out what to do now that certain plans that were laid have now gone the way of the plans of mice and men.
I’m keeping busy disinfecting door knobs and washing my hands…dozens of times a day.
I’m busy keeping what Churchill called “the black dog” at bay. Knowing that I will be useless if I sink into a depression.
I understand that everyone is dealing with the pandemic and the impact it is having on their lives in different ways. What I find most frustrating is that I seem to be entirely unable to create anything, to be inspired, or to even look forward to a future where my writing - as mediocre as it may be - is a redeeming part of my personality.
There have been a handful of very short bursts of the sort of inspiration I value. There has been on rare occasions the sort of morning where I have a thought and then am able to build upon it with some sort of sophistication.
So I’m guessing short of being visited by the muse at the right time my blog posts will be the extent of my isolation / quarantine creativity.
But please don’t take my post as anything more than venting with perhaps a dash of sour grapes. Because I am finding the creations of my fellow men and women very entertaining and in some instances I am finding them very touching. The videos give me a glimpse into the lives of people who are navigating this situation best they can, using their humor and creativity to allow me a reprieve from my own reality.
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