In Context—More Pep Talks from the Archives

July 29, 2020

Still organizing scans and papers here.

This scan from January contained a note Dick left for me when he went off to work and I was left at home trying to cope with “the Zombie Eye.” (Which is what we call the super large contact lens meant to control the shape of my oddball left eye, in hopes of clearing up some of the double vision issues.)

It was winter. Covid-19 was still a whisper in most circles. I was pedaling away on the indoor bike, working my way through episodes of the new “Lost in Space,” on Netflix.

In January John Robinson’s advice worked on a personal level.

Today it works on a political level.

    • ellen meyers
    • July 29, 2020

    Great blog, Roz. A “normal day” for most. Now our “normal has changed so much. Dodging others at the food store, days and nights seem more similar to me. Always thinking in the back of my mind about not getting CoVid. Since I have fibromyalgia. It could kill me. Painting and being creative is more difficult. Should it be? I hope my creativity returns. Soon.

    1. Reply

      Ellen glad you enjoy the blog. I’m sorry to hear you have fibromyalgia and understand your concerns with COVID-19.

      I have the opposite problem that I get more creative when I’m in a stressful situation. Unfortunately I no longer have the access to the may tool of my creativity—my eyes. So I have to find other things to keep be going the rest of the time.

      I’m sorry to hear you feel your creativity has left. It seems to me the most important thing anyone can do is stay in the present moment—because then we can access our creativity.

      Of course at times like this with outside stresses so strong we have to be responsible and take all reasonable precautions. But once that is done then we need to scramble back to the present moment and anchor ourselves there.

      For me, the precautions we take (masks, hand washing, and staying socially isolated for now) are possible because Dick and I have work that allows us to be home. I’m grateful for that. We have concerns about my respiratory health issues, but we have done what we can to protect that. So in most ways the situation is the same as last year for me.

      But letting go of “will I get COVID” has been relatively easy for me because I grew up from an early age (2.5) believing that I would die in a pandemic. (It’s a long story as to why a child of 2.5 would even know what a pandemic is so that’s for a different day.) But what I find is that this long held belief in current circumstances has galvanized my creativity. I’ve taken precautions, check, so I come back to the present moment, and I’m rather at peace and busy trying to rebuild my creative life away from activities that require I use my eyes 14 hours a day. (Boy do I miss that!)

      I tell you this in the hopes that you can realize that there is a creative life, a fully creative life, to be had in whatever circumstances we find ourselves in. We just have to be mindful that we stay in the present moment in order to access that creativity and bring it into the world.

      Now might be a great time to reread something like Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art,” to make sure that there aren’t resistance or internal critic issues stopping you. Or perhaps you have a favorite “mindful” author.

      There are probably grief issues related to the fibromyalgia and the loss of certain abilities. For me and my eye situation the John Robinson quotation really hit home. It pushed me to start focusing on what was going to be my new life and how could I “design” that life to have elements that I enjoy, love, and can grow into.

      What I hope is that you can step out of the fear back into your creative life. There’s so much in life we can’t control, the virus is only one of them. But we can control how we react to things. I know you can use your strength and creativity to move out of the fear of COVID. It could and does kill anyone; even young healthy people with no preexisting conditions. Taking that understanding in allows us to look outward again at the world and all the things that inspire us, which will feed your creativity.

      Stay safe.

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