MARGARETE TUCKNOTT has been excited by on-line possibilities
My experience of lockdown and life now – is it a question of lost and found or, maybe, what I miss and what I am discovering?
My diary was pretty full with art events and meetings, and choir rehearsals were becoming more intense in the run-up to the Choir Festival Competition at New Milton. The door was then suddenly slammed shut – well, that’s what it felt like – loud and immediate. The practical, domestic tasks continued but even they took on a different perspective. Pencil lines crossed out events in my diary, along with the gradual realization of how much I was going to miss my friends, singing together, talking art, painting together, sharing and supporting and caring for each other. Missing, too, our visits to our family, particularly my 101 years old aunt in Sussex. Speaking with her, as I do, every day, helping her understand the implications of the pandemic has not been easy. She has been in her own lockdown for over 10 years, unable to move from her chair or leave her home without support for all that time. She still cheerfully celebrated her 101st birthday at the end of May with her carers, and her godson at a distance.
So, there is much to miss, but what have I found? That slowing down has been good for me. I admit I needed to slow the pace. I have spent time in the garden catching up with weeding and planting, watching birds, sitting and taking time to be quiet and appreciate nature.
I am so glad I bought a new phone last year – yes, I’m one of those people texting and messaging. I’m now on WhatsApp Family Group, Art Group – it’s been so good to be in touch. I must not forget the Zoom meetings – Zoom family birthday party get-togethers, ah, and Zoom Family Quiz hosted from Mexico and taking in France and regions here in UK. Facebook is useful too with pictures and messages from family and friends here and abroad. So, in a different way, my life has expanded.
It grew even more when I discovered an on-line art course – initially a free taster week with over five thousand people across the world joining. I could not imagine how this would work – it worked! With a tutor based in Yorkshire and her support artists an exciting week ensued. It is about commitment and being open to new ideas; and as much work as you can put into it. Following that week, on 6 July I signed up for a ten week course along with several hundred artists worldwide. I am now approaching week five, enjoying the challenge, listening and learning, and experiencing support (via our private Facebook group) from Canada, USA, New Zealand, Europe and UK; and Zoom meetings as well on a weekly basis. It has encouraged my interest in art history, to turn out and re-organise my garden studio and to find even more joy in my painting.
It’s a time of serious reflection – about how we live, seek out hope, look to our faith, cope with change and loss – and on a lighter side, to laugh together and appreciate all that is abundant in our lives.