People turning to music, art in times of isolation

Posted 4/5/20

 The current situation in the world has some people feeling isolated. Folks are coping, but some are doing better than others. My social media timeline is filled with people who say they are …

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People turning to music, art in times of isolation

Posted

 The current situation in the world has some people feeling isolated. Folks are coping, but some are doing better than others. My social media timeline is filled with people who say they are ricocheting off the walls of their homes. I’ve seen some creative ways to pass the time, and I’ve seen some goofy stuff too. What follows are some of the things I’ve observed.

One thing I’ve noticed is that people are turning to music, art, and creativity to pass the time. It’s easy to take these for granted. 

One theme that I see a lot is that more people are cooking meals at home. Our niece Samantha who is laid off due to the current situation, calls my wife Jilda several times a day for cooking advice. She and her son Jordan also planted their first garden. Turns out, they have a green thumb. Everything they’ve planted in starter pots has spouted. 

Some people are binge-watching shows on Netflix. When our feature editor asked me at the paper what we were binge-watching, I told her that we’re watching Northern Exposure. My coworker sent me a message back saying that she couldn’t find Northern Exposure on any streaming services. When I told her that we didn’t have Netflix that we were watching the series on DVD. She texted me back and said, No, Netflix? I can’t make this compute. I smiled. 

The stay-at-home situation hasn’t been that big of a deal here in Empire. Living on a small farm in the sticks has its benefits. It’s quiet at night. When I step outside to dump the coffee grounds into the compost bucket, I can look into the sky, and the stars look like diamonds scattered on black velvet. 

There’s always plenty to do. These last two weeks, I’ve built raised beds so that we can grow more food this year. We ordered vegetables and flower seeds. I’ve made improvements in the chicken pen.

I’ve also built beehive components to increase the number of hives. They haven’t bought into the social distancing because there are probably 40,000 bees in a hive that’s not much larger than the first microwave oven we had years ago.

Another thing that’s happened the last few weeks is that Jilda and I are getting our steps in every day. Not only that, but her brother Ricky. his wife Debra, Samantha and Jordan are walking daily too. We all keep a safe distance, amble around the farm, and see what’s bloomed. We’re thinking about starting a Stacks Bottom Walking Club.

Having said this, there are things that I do miss. Things like going to a grocery store and casually pushing the cart up and down the aisles as we debate what kind of produce we want for the week or whether to splurge on a bag of chips. We have friends that we only see at the grocery store. 

I miss our meals with friends at local restaurants. There is no better way to spend time than discussing world peace, true happiness, and whatnot while stuffing our faces.

The first thing I’m going to do when the current situation passes is to go to Books a Million (don’t you wish we had one of those in Jasper), buy a bucket of coffee, and do my best to look at the title of every book on their shelves. 

I’d be interested in hearing about the first thing you plan to do once the virus situation passes.

Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book Life Goes On is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at rick@rickwatson-writer.com.