3. If “survival is insufficient,” as it says on the lead caravan of the Travelling Symphony, what do you feel makes life sufficient enough to live?
I've been having a really frustrating week at work where the software in which I teach my online English course is crashing, my browser needs updating and that meteor must have slowed it all down too. Yet I remember loading software on a Texas Instruments computer in order to play a silly pixelated game for hours. Something that appeals to me about the world of Station Eleven is that the pace of life has slowed WAY down. What I would miss though is being connected to news, information, and the people I love who would be at an unreachable distance. I actually said out loud this week (in the heat of the moment) "I don't have an offline life!" and it scared me a little. It's true though. I rely on connectivity from the moment I wake up til the moment I go to sleep each day. For me, being disconnected would be difficult to survive. Even as a child, pre-internet, I had many many penpals.
2020 Update: I think art, music, movies and Netflix are filling that void for me. I took a 6-week drawing class in January, having never formally learned anything in that category. It helped me to see differently.....essentially I'm practicing how to draw how light touches shapes rather than to draw the shape itself. I find myself drawing trees over and over again....and portraits too. It's a great way to disconnect and to just really be in the moment. It's very soothing. I spent an hour today picking ripe black currants in my garden. It was a glorious day and I know I'll turn them into something yummy. Taking the time to do something methodical has also brought me some serenity.
For me, it is about people. Creating yes - I am a knitter and spinner and sometimes (but not often enough) writer, but people are what makes life sufficient. My happiest is creating things (food, in particular) for people I love. Sitting in conversation with people, walking with people, listening to other voices, those are all my beyond survival necessities. Also, getting outside. So, movement and people (and I'm realizing how much my older son is like me, because his toughest adjustment in the pandemic was not being able to get outside and do extreme athletic things with other people, because that's his jam.). Yes, music, yes, books, yes, my fibre and my baking, but people, above all.
Of course it's primarily music for me. There have been other periods in my life where I have stopped playing for a period of time, but this is so much different, and discouraging. I take joy from listening, but my greatest joy is in getting together with my musical peers for live music making.
Anything creative is important to me. My garden and various crafts (most recently traditional rug hooking) keep me occupied. Working with purpose for an important cause is part of my DNA, I think. ("Action is Eloquence" - Shakespeare, Coriolanus). I have been having a bit of a crisis of motivation recently on this front, and that happens some times. Putting it down to the summer more than to the pandemic, but I'm sure that that is part of it.
Art, creativity, and relationships are redemptive forces for the Traveling Symphony, who have so much more to deal with that threatens their very existence. And that is what is so inspiring about the book.
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