Friday, October 30, 2020

making the best of life in a global pandemic

everyone is talking these days about how covid has changed our lives and about how heavy that burden seems. in fact, reply all's latest episode talks about how this year is scientifically proven to be the saddest, most unhappy year. probably ever, or at least since these scientists started measuring happy/unhappy words on twitter. as if twitter is a happy place. 

but, i get it. it's hard with limited social contact, not much going out to eat or get drinks, not visiting family and friends and feeling awkward when you do, no halloween party, no concerts or movies and no yoga classes. we work a lot more from home and it can feel at times like the workday is just one endless long teams meeting. 

but i also find that there are good things about it. for one, the coffee is way better here at home. i order the beans from a little roaster in trieste, grind it myself and make two cups of espresso in a little mokka pot that i bought in venice (thinking consciously about that every single time), then pour that into plenty of warmed, frothed milk that i get from an organic dairy farmer nearby. 

and while i find myself sitting too long at the computer without getting up and sometimes forgetting to eat lunch, when i do eat lunch, i feel consciously grateful for the plates i had made by a local ceramics artist and to myself for making a really good omelette for dinner the other night and for there being leftovers. i don't feel that way about lunch at the office. at the office, i usually find myself thinking that they would being going into elimination if it were master chef. 

the past few days, i've been happy to be working at home, because on tuesday when i got home, husband said there was a kitten yowling out in the big barn and i needed to rescue it. the poor little thing had its eyes all stuck shut and it was very distressed, cold and hungry. i brought it in, gently washed its eyes with warm water, put some aquaphor on them to soothe them and ran to the grocery store for cat milk until i could get to the vet the next day to get proper kitten milk replacer. i concluded that the kitten was a little older than i thought, as it has pretty good teeth and within about 36 hours, it was a different, lively, lovely little kitten that was ready for his first photoshoot. he does need to eat every few hours and i have to mix milk replacer for him and give him some soft food, which i also got at the vet. he's doing very well. i think his mama is a young wild thing that comes for food and i tried to give him back to her, but she wasn't having it. it's late in the season and i think she doesn't really know what to do. but anyway, thanks to corona, i'm here for him.

i've had a really sore throat for a few days and i'm coughing. i haven't gotten tested, but i don't have a fever and i can still taste things, so i think it's just an ordinary cold. though how, with all the hand washing and hand sanitizer, one can still get a cold is beyond me. one part of me just wants to get the damn virus and get it over with.  

another positive is that this damn virus makes my work life really exciting. we have the exhilaration of quickly bringing solutions together as the situation changes in various countries - like france's new lockdown (probably to be closely followed by one in belgium), we're moving quickly to help our stores there, adjusting their black friday campaigns and making them able to meet with customers online. it's seriously really exciting and makes me appreciate working with talented and hard-working colleagues. 

denmark finally instituted mask requirements in public places - like grocery stores and the library and such. they had required them on public transport and in restaurants and bars (until you're seated at your table) some weeks ago. i'm a little tired of hearing people moan about the mask requirement, questioning its effectiveness. and only thinking of themselves. as i see it, using a mask is something we do for one another. i was happy to wear a mask this week, since i had a sore throat and i didn't want to give it to anyone. i don't do it for me, i do it for my fellow humans. 

another thing i did for my fellow humans is that i voted. and sent it via DHL to be sure it got there. i have proof of delivery. and boy, will i be glad when this election is over. 

how are you coping these days?

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 acedia - that thing we're all feeling now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

looking for the elusive red thread

we got together in our local creative group on sunday and made small "flexigon" books together, inspired by places that mean something to us. because i love the little museum down in randbøldal, where i go to weaving every other wednesday, i wanted to make that the focus of my little foldable book. i selected some photos that i'd taken there, as well as a photo of the runner for my kitchen that i wove there at the museum. many of the photos i chose were of that work in progress and the one in the middle is of the new runner that i just started last saturday. what i wanted to ponder in my little book was the magic of the place. because it really is a magical place. 

and what came out was something else entirely. i began to think about the way that we trace red threads of meaning through our lives. or the way that we probably should do that and don't always do so. and my little book became a kind of meditation on that. perhaps because i have used red strips cloth in my rug, or because i often struggle to figure out whether there is a cohesive meaning to my life. it can feel like i'm really just bumbling along. 

but it's strange that wasn't what i sat down to create. i wanted to create a little book that expressed the magic i feel in the air when i'm at the museum. it's a really special place. it makes me feel calm and centered and present. i feel it immediately when i step out of my car, my shoulders relax and i breathe deeply. it's in a little valley, on the curve of a creek, nestled down in the trees. part of the magic is the group of women which gathers there, especially the leader of that group, who is a lovely, spry, can-do woman who makes things happen. she's a big part of the magic. but the place itself has something special as well. maybe it's on just the right vortex, or just the way it's placed, there on the creek, nestled at the base of a tree-covered hill, is perfect. and i wanted to try to capture that in my little book, but instead, it ended as a search for a red thread. 

i guess i unconsciously chose that myself when i chose the pictures that i did. i have many other pictures that capture the magic, but the ones i chose were nearly all of my own weaving and in that way, i guess i did control the direction it took, even if it maybe felt like i didn't. i guess i'm just looking for that elusive red thread.