I don’t think I’ll be learning macrame, or another language, or finally learning how to build a birdhouse during this time of being set apart and locked up and locked down. I also don’t think I’ll be writing a sequel to The Minister’s Wife at this moment in time (The Minister’s Wife Who Climbed out a Window and ran Down the Street?).
There is this idea of creative productivity that might just be another pressure point right now, at least for me. It might be okay to just become better, and a little bit slower, at what we are already doing to be human. Which for me right now looks like cooking a meal that makes my family smile. Cleaning a room. Pulling the sheets up over the bed and smoothing them down flat with my hand. Sweeping up the cereal spilled on the floor, which crunches under my sandals like pebbles on a path. And not snapping at the cereal-spillers or hitting them with the broom.
My days are also, gratefully, wonderfully, still very full of my daily, regular work right now. And our kitchen is located in my office. So my office fills up sometimes with lumbering, hungry people who tumble out of bed and look for food, hair standing tall (we will eventually have a Stiller-Big-Thick-Hair Problem to contend with). There they are in the background of my Zoom meeting, making coffee, spilling cereal and then wandering off set, oblivious.
All of this to say, I’m trying to be gentle with myself and my housemates. Doing the small and daily things well right now is productive and creative enough, for me, so far. But if you receive a birdhouse from me for Christmas next year — assuming Christmas will come back for us — you will know I changed my mind.