Staying creative: the gift of lockdown

Wendy Freebourne writes:

I was quite excited at the beginning of lockdown. All those things that I was going to have time to do, that I could have taken time to do before if I hadn’t been doing the things that have since ceased due to lockdown. I always had that choice. There were also all those on-line choices and goodies on offer, folk concerts, Astrology talks on Zoom, free shows, plays. Novelty.

Lockdown cushion by Wendy Freebourne

That was a kind of honeymoon period, which wore off after the first month or so. Part of the honeymoon was my new relationship with technology, and the wonderful people who came to help me. Not all of those people stayed, but many are still there, including my new personal shopper who goes to Waitrose once a week, an existing friend, and, oh joy, this week he went to the ironmongers and Homebase. What a treat. My material needs in isolation are met. The others found things to do and settled into their own, new routines, looking after themselves, homeschooling children, and other chores. My spiritual needs are met with on-line Quaker meetings, parish church meetings, village chat groups. For all of us, we slowed down, had less energy, rested more, which was not a bad thing. We also became more aware of daily needs to exercise. Needless to say, the `jobs’ on my list diminished slowly, but I was also slowly creative, and new jobs kept arising.

Staying creative in lockdown: two decorated tables.

When the honeymoon had worn off, I decided I wasn’t in lockdown, I was having a staycation. However, when the government eased lockdown a bit, I became confused. Nothing seemed to fit together or make any sense. I still could not have friends or family in my house, but I could put my house on the market and make an appointment for them to view it – with all the doors open. I was not allowed to meet more than one person outside my house, but I had often met more than one person on my walks, and we all stayed suitably distanced and chatted and patted dogs. This confusion and uncertainty upset me. I found myself going further inwards. At the beginning, I’ve been saying that a lot, I was avoiding all the negativity about the government, the blaming, and preaching to people that we had to look to ourselves and what a wonderful opportunity we had to do that, while listening to my neighbours either side discussing when they might be able to get a flight to Vegas and how much it might cost. I went deeper into myself. Now I realise I am not on staycation, I am in retreat.

I have been in retreat many times in my life, the organised kind, and the enforced kind, usually due to illness, physical or mental or both. The latter I have never named as retreat. I am a person who needs to withdraw from time to time, to do inner work, to replenish myself. Now I have an excuse, instead of feeling there is something wrong with me because I don’t want to do the outward things that other people seem to do. The hints of lockdown easing more terrify me, in case I am not ready yet. I hear that other people feel the same way. I have developed very painful legs, so am not able to go far at the moment anyway. That could change.

In lockdown, we are renewing ourselves, our hope, our faith, and our belief. We are transforming ourselves and will emerge as butterflies when the time is right. For me the time is not yet.

You can respond to the points Wendy raises in the comments section below. 

More lockdown crafts: Wendy Freebourne made a mask.

One comment

  1. This article really speaks to me. I haven’t been very creative in this time, but I have a strong feeling that this time is important. A few weeks ago, at the start of lockdown, I came across a quote, from When the Heart Waits, by Sue Monk Kidd: ‘God seems to be calling us to the experience of waiting, not only individually, but collectively, as a world family….For a world that hovers so delicately between beauty and destruction, waiting is something we can’t afford to ignore much longer.

    Liked by 1 person

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