“If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s the value of freedom of movement”.
Travel, shake hands and hug. In the first months of quarantine last year, I remember driving on my shift (I was working part-time at the time), and watching the empty streets during the normal rush hour made me feel like a character in one of them.
An apocalyptic thriller – all gone.
I hate to talk about silver rubbers in such dark and difficult times, but this season has changed me in many positive ways. It’s fair to say that these changes were forced upon me, and I had to turn around so many times that I now act in a constant state of dizziness, like a child walking down a roundabout. Having said that, I still managed to get a strange hunch. Here are my top three:
In March 2020, I had my first online production meeting. One of the team members caught a cold, so we were asked to try this new application that allows people to video chat through their computers.
“Oh, like Skype,” someone suggested.
This is different, ”was the answer.
They didn’t say better because, in truth, it all felt like an inconvenience that we had to go through learning how to handle new technologies that we will probably never use again …
“It’s not quite the same as sitting in a room together,” I recently began my hackneyed tirade. While doing a Zoom workshop for the Kosin library, I was interrupted by one of the participants. ‘No. This is good. I wouldn’t join if it was in person.
Her camera was off. “Due to my wellbeing, this implies I can join my bed.” Then someone else tweeted. “Furthermore, I’m calling from the States. I have done as such numerous online courses all throughout the planet during the pandemic.
I love Zoom.
” Several other members of the group echoed this.
I got dizzy uploading new information.
For them, Zoom was a technological lifeline.
I needed to grapple with it. After a few months, I changed my mind and became a fan of video chat. But I remain tense, waiting for the next innovation, which may simply take me out of my newly occupied comfort zone in Zoom form.
2. Secret letter
Writing is often alone, but when you write for a living like me, even the simplest scribble can find its way into a paid job.
So when the big P hit, closing theatres overnight and effectively dragging struggling creatives underneath already low-income levels, it wasn’t the first time I asked myself, “ Who am I doing this for? ”
And even more existential: “ Why am I doing this? ” I write?’
When I started writing as a child, it was my way of making sense of the world, forming my thoughts and weeding out confused ideas.
It wasn’t until I got much older that I realized I could make money by writing, and while it remained a passion, he took on the extra responsibility of funding my daily life, which meant I was often driven by economic rather than creative urgency. … But when work dried up last year, I found that writing was still an impulse, even if it wasn’t driven by a deadline or external imperative.
I love haiku, a simple Japanese form of poetry composed of 17 syllables arranged in three lines in a five / seven / five pattern. I wrote these poems regularly for several years as part of my creative practice, more in order to stay unblocked, but during my isolation, I started writing them daily as soon as I woke up.
- This new habit was less about lubricating the wheels than about connection, a form of mindfulness that kept me in touch with my true self.
- In the season of uncertainty, it was also a means to let go; I usually don’t save a single haiku that I write this way (the one in the picture I wrote as a demo at a recent workshop).
- I encourage participants in my writing workshops to write haiku or other short forms of poetry without any pressure to share their work, although I am honoured to read other people’s thoughts.
Here are some examples of work from the May 29 online workshop:
Clean walking shoes dry
Dreaming about my basket
Joy, dirt, destruction.
Trapped between the mountains
If I had the sea I would
Longing for distant peaks.
The silence brings me joy
Silence, Preston, go away!
Birds chirp, sing, breathe.
There were other poems that were written but not circulated; there is something liberating in creativity without criticism. I have personally rediscovered the simple, healing pleasure of forming strings of words, making up phrases that only one audience could applaud.
3. Libraries are not just for reading.
Libraries are a great place.
It is an environment unlike anything else, a dull block with ideas, history, conversations, conflicts – and catalysts for creativity, hives of information, and oases of calm for those seeking refuge from the noisy noise of the modern world.
Not that libraries are inherently old-fashioned – even the ancients offer cutting edge services and access to their catalogues – but there is something fundamental and primordial about the space that the library occupies, this feeling of being able to gain access to power – knowledge – simply by reaching and removing the tome from the shelf.
Given the economic situation of my family, this was the only way I could regularly read new books.
- I loved visiting a huge building in downtown Bradford and scanning seemingly endless shelves, randomly choosing names for fun.
- I would take my books to my seating area and carry around for hours on engineering, pure mathematics, archaeology, and macrame books, and then walk away with a few storybooks that might be more appropriate for a child still in elementary school.
But over the years, the miracle that I felt in my youth was supplanted by another idea – if I wanted books, I could just collect my own.
I didn’t remember that libraries are not read-only. They were and still are about intelligence, justice and access. Recently, I have received wonderful support from librarians and archivists in my research, I have watched performances in libraries (yes, we don’t need to be silent!), And I have also had the privilege of teaching in library spaces – it was great to see children from across the city. children with large collections of their own books; and children who do not have a single book come together to share and learn.
At a time when fees are so severely sanctioned and accurate signage is a major public health concern, libraries are one place where reliable support, records and information remain within easy reach.
And where everyone can plunge into worlds that seem a million miles away from their own experience. Is free.”
I hope my efforts help you in your life a small but effectively
If you liked it, Do share it with your friends and family so that they can remember what libraries are for?
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