Editor’s note: Atlanta’s artists face uncertainty in the age of coronavirus. To help us all connect, we’re offering this series. In each “In Our Own Words,” an artist will share their experience, strength and hope as we all navigate a new normal.
I’m very fortunate. I’m a natural introvert, so I’m emotionally and psychologically OK with the isolation. My wife, Karen [Robinson], is working from home, and we’re lucky to have each other’s company. I’m spending a lot of time in the yard to accomplish projects and as therapy. We have a ritual. We take a brisk half-hour walk each morning and then do a 30–40 minute workout based on a phone app. Karen then shuts herself in the office and I work on projects around the house, yard or in my shop. At 6:30 we sit on the front porch with a festive cocktail and watch the neighborhood. I love how everyone is out with their families taking walks. Evenings include Jeopardy! (religiously), Netflix and reading.
Fear is powerful. I find myself spending way too much time online reading everything I can find about the virus. My phone keeps telling me my screen time is going up and up. I worry about getting the virus — us, my family, my friends, my neighbors. I’m angry, and I worry that some of our politicians are actively making this whole crisis worse rather than having the guts to deal with it realistically. I can’t stand the smell of Clorox wipes now. I hate the way my mask (from my woodworking shop) fits on my face and makes me feel claustrophobic when I go out. I’m afraid we’ll let up too soon for all the wrong reasons. And yet, I’m lucky and I don’t take that for granted.
I’m grateful for what this crisis has taught me. To be more comfortable in the moment, to see people more closely, to take joy in children’s chalk art and friends’ online musical and video experiments. I am amazed at how most of us as human beings are pitching in and doing our part. I hope that those of us in the business of gathering people together for live shared experiences never take that responsibility for granted. I hope a new and profound seriousness of purpose can always remind of us of the sacred part of our profession.
In times like these, when we are separated by necessity, ArtsATL is needed more than ever. Please consider a donation so we can continue to highlight Atlanta’s creative community during this unprecedented time.