Siege Diaries 3/22/2020

Robie House, Chicago, IL.

In the world we have lost, I’m grabbing lunch in Chicago.  I’ve toured the Robie House, seen all of the work they’ve done on restoration in the years since I’ve seen it (about six years ago). I’m probably staking out a parking place so I can get out and walk around before my concert starts at 3.  I’m probably going to look to catch the pre-concert lecture at 1:45, maybe meet up with another Shostakovich fan I’ve met through Facebook.

Instead, I’ve spent some time with my husband, put away laundry, tidied up a couple of messes.  I’ll be attending another online meeting for my SCA group, then sitting down to see a performance of my cancelled concert in the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall.  Having played two quick board games yesterday, I hope to play another this evening with my husband. We also started watching a show I’ve been wanting to watch, Deutschland 83, last night.  I’m going to try to get 15 minutes with my viola. Also, my ear has decided to become blocked with wax again (as it does from time to time), so I’ve ordered a removal kit and hoping it arrives by when Amazon says it will.

Exciting times.

I was asking my husband this morning how he’s doing.  Unlike me, he normally spends most of his days largely at home, so the new normal is not as big a change as it is for me.  I’ve been eager to jump onto online gatherings faster as a result – I have always done a decent amount of my work via teleconference and I’ve taught classes via WebEx, so it’s not been a big jump to use remote tools to socialize.  This is where it’s clear that even I learn more towards the introverted side of the spectrum, I am definitely an ambivert–these sessions end up making me feel more hopeful.

Oddly enough, unlike my friends, I haven’t really been finding unfinished craft projects to take up–for the simple reason that I don’t have any.  (I take that back–I did find one cross-stitch project that I’ll probably resume shortly).  And starting new ones–I haven’t felt the desire to so quite yet.  I already know that depression definitely stifles my creativity, so there is a bit of that. But I’m learning it seems to affect different things in different ways.  I’ve been writing every day, for instance.  There’s the viola project as well.  I think the type of activities I’m seeking out correlate well to my sudden aversion to acquiring things of any kind.  Sure, I could do a project–but then, what happens?  I don’t really need another piece of clothing, or scarf or embroidered thing for my wall.  It might be more motivating to do a project for someone else, perhaps.  I did see a pattern to make crocheted poppies for a future Remembrance Day exhibition–that’s probably something I might be able to do.

Perhaps I could use my skills to help out, maybe making medical protective equipment?  It’s been largely reported that homemade masks are both needed and not needed by hospitals.  I have a friend who’s an ER nurse and is trying to get a program set up for people to manufacture not masks, but the other protective gear that’s going to be needed just as much–such as gowns, hair coverings, and the like.  I’ve put my name on that list, and not just for manufacturing, but helping to coordinate the administration if needed, since medical personnel really need to focus their energy on the difficult work at hand.   I’m really hoping that more of this kind of thing is organized, particularly so that those who are doing their part to stay at home have a way to contribute to what really is a ‘war effort’. We’ve already seen community groups organizing mutual support efforts to get food and supplies to the marginalized and at-risk populations.  I hope we’re going to see more of these types of efforts in the coming weeks as we look for ways to perhaps gain just a tiny bit of a feeling of control in this dire situation.