After months of lockdown, missing teaching, wondering how to move forward in an increasingly virtual world, I’m trying something new. I’m developing my platform on Patreon in order to delve deeper into the history and context of craft, to learn more about where the crafts we love came from, and to build community through discussion and research.
This project started as I was trying to begin a podcast. When I recorded the introduction and first episode of a podcast, back in February, I had hopeful and starry-eyed ideas of weekly or bi-weekly episodes, interviews, soundscapes, field recordings, story-telling, and research. And then COVID-19 hit. For me, my routine under COVID-19 hasn’t changed much on the surface. I still go to work at the yarn store three days a week. Throughout the early months of lockdown, I biked the 8km to and from work. These long, quiet bike rides in chilly sun, blustery wind, and the occasional blizzard were a saving grace during social distancing and business shutdown. As the weather cools down, I try to take long walks to replace this solitary time outside.
My social world of real life has shrunk, but my online community has expanded. Regular check-ins with friends I had only met a handful of times before this unprecedented phenomenon. Rekindling overseas friendships, speaking with my family more often, now that time zones have no relevance beyond sleeping and waking. All around me I see people looking for new ways to interact. I have read through plays with my family – so far Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde, there is some contention as to whether we’ll do Aeschylus or Chekhov next. I have played euchre with my in-laws, helped my sister through her French homework, helped my brother’s girlfriend with her knitting. All things I’ve never really done before with them, except on the rare occasions we are together.
This is my rose-tinted view of isolation. There are many hard days, and these are increasing. There are the cancelled visits, the fear of living an ocean away from my family and not being able to get home. Daily chores have become a source of anxiety. The feeling of control and spontaneity has gone out of cooking, an activity my partner and I enjoyed as a daily moment to spend creating something with each other. And of course, there’s the great “what if” that no one seems to be talking about. What if I get it. What if someone I love gets it. What if it gets bad.
This isn’t the way I wanted to launch the Humble Patreon into the world. But it’s the world I have, and restrictions create challenges that bring about new, amazing things. I’m seeing that every day. So I’m working with that, as I plan future content. Stay tuned!