We are rounding the one-year mark since our lives were abruptly disrupted by Covid-19. We are in the last months of winter. It is dark, cold and many of us are isolated. Delays drag on. Between the ice storms, 3 weeks without sun, and Covid isolation I feel like I’m moving through cement with the 100 blouses project. There are days where it is hard to find the light, which is usually one of my strengths. And I know I’m not alone. I commiserated with a few local musicians about how hard it is to find energy and inspiration for creativity while we are alone. Or how much we are dying to be together again and feel that creative inspiration that comes from being with others.
During some particularly low moments I wondered how we keep the light going in the winter darkness, when we are fatigued and the pandemic seems interminable (in defiance of the numbers that say cases are dropping, alongside the vaccine rollout, Covid continues to hammer my community). Most of us spend so much time in isolation, perhaps we don’t realize that we are not alone in our struggle, in the lack of creative energy. How much we miss working together or taking in someone else’s creative work, working around and with people who gives us creative inspiration.
I have found 2 sources that keep the light going: my loved ones, including my German Shepherds, who are not at all affected by the lack of sunlight or the isolation, and gifts of natural beauty. There is one image in particular that I’d like to share. On a recent Saturday afternoon after 3 weeks with no sun, the sun came out over a forest covered in ice crystals, created twinkling rainbows in every directions, so bright they were almost painful to look at. I had never witnessed such an effect. I think about this image and wonder if it is a metaphor for what is to come – staggering beauty and creative energy to heal and move our communities forward after a year of darkness. What if what’s coming is as unimaginably vibrant and magical as that forest of rainbows was to witness?
Part of the trouble with being a human is that we become conditioned to anticipate more of the same. I believe some of the trouble with not being able to find the light right now is just that it is becoming difficult to believe that the future will be different from the past year. I’m just starting to expect more of the same.
However, the Shepherds and the natural word reveal the truth. To my Shepherds each next moment offers the possibility that we will go on an adventure outside. For the natural world, change is the law. Intense beauty follows periods of darkness and death.
We don’t need to be hard on ourselves about where we are at and if we are not producing our best creative work. We just have to hang in there and remind ourselves that a bright, beautiful Spring is around the corner and, with it, the possibility for unimaginable creative energy, transformation and community building.
Go, fight, win