It has been a strange month. Isolation is all around us. Whether at home or work, I feel it deeply. There is a weight to it. The smells are louder. I’m allergic/hypersensitive to the cleaners we use at work. Benadryl helps, but not completely. I was given a mask by a lovely lady in town. I’m wearing it, realizing it may do nothing against germs, but it creates a buffer between me and the wipes, sprays and continual cleaning.
I live in a place of in between. I’ve lived here before, but that was more abuse and fear of the tangible, approachable implications. You could see and hear it coming. This is different. Everything looks the same, well nearly. There are the lineups, blank spots on store shelves, less cars on the road, so much more quiet to the day when I sit here listening to the simple sounds outside. Dogs bark, they must be walked. Some cars pass by, there are almost no sirens. I noticed that last week or the one before. It startled me, hearing a siren go past and I suddenly realized it was an anomaly to my now usual day. Before I’d hear at least two or three each day heading somewhere. We must be safer locked inside. I hope we’re learning the lessons that slower provides.
The first week or two at work were chaos. Angry, pushy, at times long distance and self important shoppers demanding things I could not give. My body remembers and shifted gears. Within a day, I noticed it … the alarm of crisis in action … I was perfectly calm and steady. Aware, heightened awareness, attentive and ready for whatever came. I moved with speed and accuracy between my self check area and the door. I shifted into teacher mode – Jacob mode – and was giving prompts with encouragement, focusing all our attention (mine and the customers) to the task of keeping the flow. Instruction mingled with story, I wove connections and got smiles. We were a team. Back and forth I went, encouraging, thanking them … three out, one in, get the flow, break congestion at the tills, switch gears, one out one in, thank you for helping. On and on.
Yesterday it was one month, exactly one month since my other job closed. Medical. We had to. In that time, my life consists of the constant back and forth between store and home, store and home. I work as much as I can, pick up shifts to make up for the emptiness January and February fed my bank accounts. I feel guilty appreciating the opportunity to work and make it up. I shift between high and low, distance and alone. It’s an odd little melodrama I play out all alone. Its peaks and valleys are fine some days, but others the fog rolls in and I barely cope. In the good moments, between low and high, I write and I paint. Let my body share the distress with a tangible medium. My only real contact besides the cleaning surfaces, and they give me nothing back.
My goal, for now, try to write what wants to come. Then try to write what needs to come. And try to write the things I planned and struggle to get out. Here. Instagram. Facebook and email groups. Lift my head, look and see, let it out. Share me.
For today, a link. I’ll post them here too when I have a moment to remember how it work. Right now. Find food. Pack lunch. Head to work.
ART of LIFE in this ISOLATION:
Painting emotions this month Inner ‘isolation’. https://www.instagram.com/p/B_IQX2NAHo4/?igshid=1h7nr4c6zpd92