During these strangest of times, isolated at home during pandemic days, a whole wild world of connections has sprung up that just a year ago seemed unthinkable.
I just called a school librarian with whom I worked with. Said, let me do some virtual projects with kids and see how it goes. She said, sure, let’s try it. A year ago I didn’t have the equipment, the experience or the interest in doing anything virtually. A year ago this would have been unthinkable. Now, all of us are here, all at once.
This means I can do a call out and say, hey, I’m going to teach for a half hour on zoom, anyone want to show up? Then people show up! This is great, because it gives me beta groups to test out my teaching so I can make a better tutorial. Like this one:
The video above is a lovely way of folding paper to make a closure, designed by Hedi Kyle. It’s not in her book, but it’s so awesome that it deserves more exposure. Not only can this strap make a cool closure but it can also be used to make a faux spine for writing on, so as to bundle together and label hard-to-label items.
Because everyone is zooming I was able to work with a group this past Sunday, doing this belt fold, and got all sorts of great feedback on how to improve my presentation.
What’s even better is that I get to be part of what other people, from all over, are dong in real time. This sweet little lantern above is something I made along with paper artist Helen Hiebert in an afternoon zoom session.
Because we’ll all zooming, my friend Susan Joy Share and I have been able to do some teaching together -her in Alaska, me in NY : how cool is that?
Also, I’ve met people! Artist Marianne Petit comes to mind, not only because I’ve enjoyed conversations with her, bought some of her etsy shop awesome postcards, been inspired by her to start making some fun postcards of mine own, but, unbelievably, just found out that she is friendly with one of my best friends in the world who lives in Minnesota.
One of the sweetest connections of these pandemic days is that the dominoes fell in such a way that both of my young adult children are living nearby. We don’t spend chunks of time together now that it’s so cold outside, but we feel close, see each other for snippets of time to drop off or pick up things, and have lots of reasons to chat.
This is not to say that the pandemic doesn’t feel real to me. There is this unspeakably dark cloud of sadness, knowing the families of hundreds of thousands of people have inalterably changed. Although there is reason to hope, I am quite sure that the way the world have been ravaged will take its toll on all of us for a long time. Everyday I hope that my husband and I don’t contract the virus and die before the vaccine is available. I worry about the long range negative impacts on my children. I know that my husband, who is happiest when he is working, has a great deal of time on his hands. Being so close to the kitchen at all times has not done me any favors.
Every situation is many faceted. As long as I can, I do what I do to have some positive impact, taking advantage of the expanded ways that we are connecting with each other, being grateful for the ways that we can connect.
It’s like there’s a whole new world around us, new things to explore…carefully.