in this new and hopefully temporary era of staying at home, i’m experiencing many emotions slowly. less rapidly than i would if things were normal. for the past two weeks, i’ve been wanting to write reflections on how coronavirus has kept me from burning out, but it may be too soon to tell.
it is certain, however, that in through this situation, my current life routines have slowed down a lot. my mind is at peace and i don’t rush. living and working in places that are about an hour apart make it hard to get away from one to do or enjoy the other with enough time left for sunlight, dinner before 10 pm, doing nothing.
now, those two places are the same. and it’s incredible for the most part. at least, that’s how i feel so far. i’m spending more time outside, inside, with myself, and others. i’ve abandoned routine. i’m seeing my friends and family more often.
what i like:
» proximity to golden gate park. note that i only go here to exercise. i distance myself from others and am always cautious of keeping my distance on sidewalks and trails.
i’ve spent a lot of time at the park, but it’s becoming more clear to me lately that there’s still much to see. a couple weeks ago, i went on a run with marcus where the goal was to only run on small trails and no main sidewalks. there are many options.
i’m enamored by the polo field that has both a paved bike track and packed dirt running/walking track. it’s vast and feels like a big, hidden pocket in the middle of the park, hiding among the trees and framed by main roads and so many small trails connecting people between the richmond, sunset, and the panhandle. it’s not far from home and to have full control over the length of my runs without having to worry about a longer run back home. it’s widespread, so that makes it easy to stay away from other people. i get distracted by the tall trees and feel like i could be alone out here. that feeling is eerie and enlightening at the same time. you could relate if you’ve ever been stoned at the park as the sun is going down and everyone is leaving and your mind is racing through sticky emotions of nostalgia and wonder. maybe just me!
another place i like is the golf course, especially now it’s closed and empty. those great, tiny white flowers that i’ve been told are weeds are growing back now that it’s spring. i’ve spent a few days now taking a detour into the golf course on my runs back home, laying out the grass and letting the sun hit my face. at the same time of day in the normal world, i’d be sitting in the back of the 5R or driving to/from the gym feeling exhausted and even a little sad. this is a small peek into my rote world filled with exciting activities that some days lose their luster because i know what i’m doing every day, monday - friday.
i prefer to spend most of my afternoons after work at the park. it’s what i look forward to the most these days. i’m trying to burn into memory the paths into the park from 43rd and fulton. these walks are probably sacred to me than i realize now.
» recognition of space. i’ve lived in this apartment for over a year now. we’ve made careful, thoughtful adjustments and additions to this place with our art, books, music, and spaces for settling down, but a majority of the time i spent here before all this was distracted. always working on something or getting ready to leave. these last couple weeks, i’ve liked sitting on the couch next to the window and reading in silence. or just staring out the window and noticing the gardens my neighbors have taken really good care of. the neighborhood is lush and sleepy.
i’ve never spent as much time here just noticing things before as i have in the last 4 weeks. we own a lot of knick knacks and they bring more personality and story to different corners of the home than i expected they would when i first put them there. this space feels like an honest extension of my identity and that is comforting.
» mental clarity. this is the most obvious to me on my runs. when my mind is distracted, my brain feels dirty during a run. i can’t focus on breathing, i’m thinking about what i need to do afterward. the run is more taxing than relieving. this is happening a lot less these days.
» seeing my family. ariel is my niece and she just turned 9. my parents are getting older and they’re out of work through the end of the month. i’m in a group facebook message with my parents and kim. ariel sometimes messages in the group through my mom’s phone, too. we video chat once a week. it’s good to see them doing well. my dad seems to be getting more sleep now that he’s less stressed.
another great by-product of staying at home is all the cool stuff there is to find on the internet. that’s really what i wanted to write about. this is a mix of music, photos, informational articles, and other nice things to look at, many of them a part of my blackhole dive into sites/articles related to design resources i found while doing reading for a class i’m taking.
- molly steele’s photography
- How did Choc get here? [new york times]
- A Massive Faux Staircase Punctuates A Glass-Sided Home Before Flowing into an Outdoor Garden [colossal]
- Oli Hillyer-Riley documents a close knit, and under-threat, surfing community in Nigeria [it’s nice that; also, watch this weird waves episode]
- new globe, by plum [a chaz bundick project on leaving records that massages my head for me]
- branding style guides [something feels voyeuristic about having access to these. i like the messaging samples in the carhartt guide]
- public records, nyc [a bar+cafe+venue space with a webpage design, posters, and playlist i like]
- jordy van den nieuwendijk [i can see how you’re inspired]
i’ll share more later
til next time…