To point out the obvious: time has never felt like more of a construct. The week feels like it's flown by but then again, maybe that's just the byproduct of days blurring together with no real sense of discreteness. In a way, I'm not opposed to the days melting into each other right now. It's now been five weeks since we've been self-isolating. It doesn't feel like it.
I am writing this on a Saturday morning, though I didn't realize it was the weekend until I opened my laptop. For a moment, I wondered if I should be creating a new weekend schedule for myself. Prior to this crisis, my weekends looked pretty much like my week days. It's hard to carve out full days off when you work and study full time. I mean, sometimes Sunday mornings were spent hungover, but apart from that, it was business as usual. Write. Study. Read. Work. But things are different now, and will just become more so. I'm two assignments away from completing the first year of my master's and work is undeniably quieter. Distractions are limited. Everything is slowing down.
The other day, my boyfriend and I watched a movie in the morning. It was an assignment for his film class but a treat for the both of us. It felt like being a kid again, sneaking in some TV on the weekend before your parents woke up.
For a moment, I thought that maybe I could do that. Or read for an hour. Or begin my day with a walk. Then I remembered that I had to write this post and submit a final assignment and complete my daily words for my novel and probably work out and shower. Things are slowing down but my days are still full. I think I'll devise a better schedule once I'm officially done school. One more week to go.
I think I'm feeling better this week. More hopeful. The weather has improved (slightly) which always helps with that. I also received a research grant for my novel which helped bolster the idea that yes, creating art matters, even - or maybe, especially - now. It's something I know to be true in my bones but that I am particularly good as casting off as trivial - especially when it's my art. I'm working on it.
So on that note, I'd like to share some recommendations - some art that has carried me through this week.
Let me know what you think of any of them - and let me know what's keeping you afloat and entertained, too.
WHAT I WATCHED:
Sense and Sensibility: There is nothing like a period-piece to escape to. I'm not exactly sure what it is about it but I just find myself melting into them and forgetting about everything going on in my own life.
Free Solo: As someone who gets dizzy looking down from the second floor of the mall, I'll admit that I couldn't stomach some scenes. With that said, it was a thrilling documentary and a reminder that humans are truly capable of the craziest of sh*t.
The Brilliant Brontë Sisters: Feel free to point and laugh but I absolutely love watching British TV documentaries on YouTube. I personally tend to gravitate towards the historic and literary - there's just something so soothing about them. They're not really high budget, they don't make your heart race or your eyes widen but they're full of interesting facts and told ever so lyrically in a British voice.
One Direction X Factor Journey: Another amazing British "doc". This one triggers so many emotions but in the best of ways. I'm pretty upset that my This Is Us DVD - One Direction's actual documentary - is with my parents but I think getting my way around that is a project for tomorrow.
WHAT I READ:
Another perspective on Tiger King - I'll admit that this piece made me feel a bit icky, knowing I'd fallen for crass and sensationalism and devoured it so quickly BUT it's an important read especially if you have, too: 'Tiger King' Is A Wild Ride. And Largely Misleading.
Thinking of getting bangs? (I know I am) - The New Yorker offers some great alternatives: Quarantine Chic: Why Not Try a Victorian Hair Style?
Amalie MacGowan (who we've interviewed here) wrote a beautiful essay this week that I know resonated with so many people this week especially, as we settle into and dive deeper into self-isolation: Self Isolation Has Turned Me Into My Best *And* Worst Self.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan - I adore Egan's writing though am having a little difficulty getting into this novel - probably because the disjointed narratives aren't lending themselves to the cohesion that I'm looking for right now. I'll keep pushing through though and keep you posted.
On Writing by Stephen King - I'm nearing the end of my novel's first draft and am looking for a little boost of inspiration. I've read his book twice already but it's a great re-read when you need some inspiration.
WHAT I LISTENED TO:
Sugar Calling - Cheryl Strayed (of Dear Sugar) is turning to writer friends to get through this crisis. OK I know this is a particularly writing-centric dispatch but I promise that not just writers will get something out of it. Start with the first episode with George Saunders to see what I'm talking about. This week's episode with Pico Iyer felt like truth and sunshine bottled up. I cried once, smiled and nodded lots.
Armchair Expert - The perfect walk companion. Dax and Monica are managing to interview the coolest people right now and it's such a great way to listen to celebrities and experts in a long-form format.
Basically Every One Direction Album: Following the documentary viewing, I just had to. I know some people will laugh but I do believe that any art that makes you feel is the best kind of art, no matter how mainstream and cookie cutter the actual art is. I feel pangs of nostalgia and love and just pure happiness when I listen to their music.
I'd love to hear what you guys have been enjoying this week! Shoot me a DM, comment on our last photo, I want to know ◕‿◕✿