This week Nicky (fab supporter of me and this blog) has written a piece about how she is experiencing the new world of virus protection and finding ways to connect safely and creatively with others along the way. One striking thing about Nicky’s story is its focus on the small, tender interactions that in a busier life can often go unremarked. There is a sweetness that is possible when restrictions apply, and an added need for imagination in our interactions with each other. There are of course many positive things happening alongside all the overwhelmingness of the difficulties and distress for people – from singing, clapping and waving to each other, through to policy changes that ease the burden for people, including those who have been suffering long before this crisis happened. Hopefully we can find ways to keep such warmth and compassion active long into the future. Now over to Nicky:
Since I know that Elizabeth AKA parrot feather likes to share other people’s stories on her blog sometimes, I’d like to tell you about a happy incident this week. I don’t think it would have happened if it weren’t for the famous Covid19.
I’ve been pretty much staying at home, except for the odd trip to the shops or a walk. I’ve been thinking about how I could do a bit MORE than just #StayAtHome. It seems that there are plenty of people who are having a hard time. I’m really not. I don’t have family I’m scared about, I’m not renting, I’m on an aged pension and I have a good garden and good internet access and a partner I can happily be in lockdown with. Even still I do sometimes feel scared, and I know there are many others who are finding this time really hard.
So I’m thinking about what I can do to support people. I stay in touch, I listen, try to find ways to laugh together on the phone or online or at a distance, to get groups together online to do that too. I’m noticing that people are really appreciating their friendships at this time.
Anyway I was inspired recently by my young neighbours doing chalk drawings on their street, and thought about graffiti. It’s a time honoured way for people to be in touch when they can’t speak to or see each other. And I saw a Facebook post about sharing graffiti on taking action around the changing climate. So I rang my photographer friend who lives around the corner and we met at the beach with a box of big chalks. On the wall I started writing ‘We’re all in this together’. And then I noticed a girl of about 10 watching me and I asked her if she’d like to join in. She was keen. So she took a piece of chalk that I hadn’t touched and started colouring in. Then her 2 younger sisters came and joined in, drawing pictures of the beach, and a turtle and a jellyfish. Then their mum came and we all had a chat. It wasn’t the best and boldest graffiti ever, but it was such a lovely experience that I thought I’d share the story. And the pictures.