As I finally sit down to write all of you, it feels a world away from the newsletter I sent out announcing all the excitement that was happening with Creative Awakenings. Taking over the studio, gearing up and offering professional expressive arts training, leaning into expanded community partnerships and so much more.

And then…BAM, life as we knew it came to a halt, and we found ourselves in what my friend Geneviève has termed, The Global Pause.

RESILIENCE
To be completely transparent, I have not really known what to say.
I have no words of comfort or advice and truth be told, I am sitting here in my home, just like you, asking mySELF some BIG questions, while pondering  my past, my present and my future. As I sit in the vulnerability of the void, and the spaciousness that has become this pause, attempting to pivot like the rest of the world, I feel as if I can finally “hear” myself “feel.”

You see, this is not my first pivot, it’s not my second pivot, perhaps not even my 100th. In my 60-years, I have come to understand that pivoting is a part of life. It is actually the art of reslience. What brings me the most comfort is the knowing that I am not alone in all this.

AUTHENTICITY
I keep sharing that I feel that this virus is stripping away all the illusion of separation.
From Hollywood to Main St, aside from income inequality, we are ALL at risk and we are all being asked to rise to the occasion. Witnessing “celebrities” broacasting from their bathtubs, basements and playing music with their beloveds on Facebook and sharing their gifts on Youtube in flannel shirts and hoodies, has given me the courage to do the same; gray hair, wrinkles and all!

Once again I am reminded of what’s important. Here’s to authenticity…NO MORE BULLSHIT!

DUALITY
In the midst of deep grief and sorrow, for the loss of human life, and praying for friends who have been very sick, I see so much LOVE, GENEROSITY, COMPASSION, CREATIVITY AND KINDNESS, arising in response to this unprecedented experience
. Each day I read and hear about stories of courage, miracles and healing. What keeps coming forward for me is the concept of duality.

du·al·i·ty

noun
noun: duality; plural noun: dualities

  1. the quality or condition of being dual.
    “the novel’s deep duality about human motive”
    • MATHEMATICS
      the property of two theorems, expressions, etc., of being dual to each other.
    • PHYSICS
      the quantum-mechanical property of being regardable as both a wave and a particle.
  2. an instance of opposition or contrast between two concepts or two aspects of something; a dualism.
    “the photographs capitalize on the dualities of light and dark, stillness and movement”

You see, within this global pause, we are being called to extraordinary creative innovation and resilience, in a way that we have never experienced before, while at the same time, experiencing feelings of vulnerability, fear and grief.

COURAGE IN ACTION
Many of us-including me-have limited income coming in the door, we are wondering how we are going to pay our bills, feed our kids and we are watching our life savings (if we even had any) deplete each day
. We feel concern for our first repsonders, child care workers, restaurant and food pantry workers, USPS/UPS/FED EX drivers, service industry workers and our loved ones and friends, who are keeping the cogs moving, putting their lives at risk, attempting to save lives with mininal support, facing down this virus on a daily basis.

Witnessing these actions, brings me the indisputable knowing that we are going to survive this experience TOGETHER. My personal prayer is that when we come out the other side, we are going to understand what a mess we’ve made of things and although it’s been a long time comin’ a change is gonna come…” 

We are all holding and carrying a lot and in moments of despair, we must remember, WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER, while sheltering in place. 

SUPPORT:
Reach out
if you feel alone, afraid, scared, vulnerable. Call a friend, a neighbor, or a hotline. Do you need food, shelter, care for your kids or animals? One important note. During the 2008 recession/depression, people were abandoning their animals and leaving them to fend for themselves, including horses left in the Arizona desert. I understand if you are feeling you have to make choices, please don’t leave your beloveds in the wild. Give them a chance, call for resources. For horses, find a rescue or call your brand inspector.

JOIN ME / CONTRIBUTE IF YOU CAN

There are several new online workshops to support you during this pandemic. Most are free or by donation. If you feel you have the capacity to donate to support me in offering free expressive arts, mental health programming during this time, you can contribute through my fiscal sponsor, The Third Street Center, Executive Director, Colin Laird.

Your tax deductible contribution can be made payable to: The Third Street Center, in the MEMO put for Creative Awakenings. The mailing address is: 520 S 3rd Street, Carbondale, CO 81623. In addition, you can contact me directly with any questions. Whatever you might be able to give at this time, is deeply appreciated.

Thank you to each and every one of you, for what you are doing to support your loved ones and communities at this time. I still think “Social Distancing,” is a strange term, because in many ways, I feel more connected than I have in a very long time.

I leave you with this, posted by a friend and fellow artist Katie Kendrick, it brought a sense of peace to my heart:
“My grandmother once gave me a tip:
In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by little.
Don’t think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Remove the dust.
Write a letter.
Make a soup.
You see?
You are advancing step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Rest a little.
Praise yourself.
Take another step.
Then another.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow more and more.
And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.”
~ Elena Mikhalkova <3

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