Living through these crazy circumstances has brought to focus all of the areas of my life where I am incredibly privileged. Whenever I look around my apartment and think to myself, “these next couple of months are going to be hard,” I’m immediately reminded of how privileged I am to have the securities that I do have in my life. I’m lucky to be able to take moments of rest during all of this. Lucky to still be working every day. Lucky that the King Gizzard concert I was going to go to in May was postponed instead of outright cancelled – and I’m lucky that that gives me any comfort at all. So much has been given to me.
It’s hard to know where my friends are with everything. I have to take time remind myself that everyone is going through so much right now. Everyone is coping as hard as they can. Everyone will deal with this in their own way, and each day I try to find someone who is on whatever page I’m on that day and connect with them over the wifi-waves. Some of my friends are mourning, some are powering through, some aren’t getting back to me very fast, some are texting or calling me more than I’m used to. I could not be more grateful for them than I am right now, as I isolate alone in my apartment. I wonder who the first person I am going to hug after this will be and how long they’ll let me hug them.
I watch a lot of my musician friends’ live streams. Over the weekend my cousin, Kylie Fox, performed under a blanket fort as part of the “Living Rooms” streaming festival. I heard some of her new tunes for the first time and was sad for her that her songwriting residency ended a week early. My friends in RuckZuck hosted a live stream on their porch earlier that day, and I got to hear all of my favorite of their tunes and imagine I’m at their homestead, tucked away in Rural PA, being creative together. A new friend from Ohio performed Ween covers over instagram. These live streams are nice, but they’re in no way the same. It is a sentimental bandaid to cover a hole in my lifestyle. It’s a way to mourn and a way to try to celebrate the same way that we usually do. It’s nice, and it’s enough for now.
I constantly daydream of traveling. Of being surrounded by people. I want to be on trains, to be in environments that are described as “bustling.” And what right do I have to feel that way? People’s dads are dying and I’m sad that I can’t go see a band called Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats this May? But if quarantine is teaching me anything it’s that we all are going to have a hard part. People are going to miss different things and need different ways of thinking to get through it.
I miss the people that I see at concerts and the sense of full belonging that I have when I’m traveling. I want to be a citizen of the world, but right now that world is just my apartment. Right now that world is just me. I look forward to turning my lens outward again.
If I could give something to everyone right now, it would be rest. A rest from anxiety. A rest from labored breathing and a rest from frantic working. A rest from hunger and economic insecurities and systemic prejudices that don’t stop because “the whole world has stopped.” I would give our planet a rest from the many ways we abuse it. Everyone who is crying right now, I wish I could turn off the faucet behind their eyes and tuck them in bed and let them get a good night’s rest and a cup of coffee the next morning before everything sinks in again.