I realise that it is way past time that I wrote a blog for this website. But I find it hard to know where to start and what to write.
From my reading so far, I understand that some people have found covid-19 lockdown a time of immense creativity because they have suddenly found themselves with time and reduced responsibilities; more headspace and thinking time to embark on long-delayed creative projects. On the other hand, for many, this has been and continues to be definitely not a time when they are able to be creative. Heightened alertness and hypervigilance, uncertainties about the present and the future, misery for themselves and/or others, inability to breathe, grieve, conceive as they would under ‘normal’ circumstances. For some, it is a time of non-working and financial terror. For others, the heightened demands of home, family, functional and dysfunctional relationships, violence, desperation, depression. For others, it has or continues to be a time of massive upheaval, working beyond exhaustion, enduring fragmented, shredded family life, threat and risk, trying to meet gargantuan needs in health, welfare, sanitation, housing… For yet others, myself and my husband included, it has been a time of increased workload working from home, given the mostly online nature of our usual work.
Finding ways to help support others who are in dire need, unemployment and ill-health, or those who have suddenly been thrown into an online world for work or study in ways that they have never encountered or needed to encounter before.
Our creativity is stretched, exhausted. We rejoice and are warmed by videos of those who have found new online ways to connect with others in creative projects, making music together from within homes or balconies, stunning and inspiring solo concerts for neighbours, gatherings on balconies or street frontages to socialise, from a distance. My creativity seems to have been drained out of its usual genres and redeployed into cooking and craft projects, relating to family and strangers from a distance, redetermining needs and priorities, heightened awareness of how fortunate we are and how crushingly hard it must be for so many, many others.
Now, in New Zealand, apparently, we have collectively conformed to the recommendations of science and health professionals to create our own New Zealand-wide bubble of safety, for now; holding our collective breaths and wondering if it will last and what will happen if the virus does reappear. Now, I finally find some time and headspace to write, to dream of choregraphing and performing more dance, to exploring the arts once again…breathing in colourful, rich-textured imaginings of joy and pain …
And, for those who are still in the depths of misery, for those who are exhausted and stretched beyond all imagining, for those who find their creativity challenged and expanded, and for those who find there is just no space left for their usual creative embodied aliveness, what can I say but kia kaha (be strong, take courage).