The COVID Chronicles - March 20th - morning nature mandalas and online art journaling

Everyday I wake up and feel like I’m living in a science fiction film.  It feels a bit like a breakup.  Maybe it’s a breakup with my old existence.  I will never be the same.

Yesterday’s accomplishment was sewing a portion of a pillow that I got in Morocco 5 years ago.  I have more to do.  And then we watched “The Healing Powers of Dude” on Netflix.  Highly recommend if you like talking dogs and funny tv shows about middle school.  

My eye hasn’t been twitching for several months, but my right hand has a weird twitch now.  Why does the body do that?  I try to meditate daily and call in light into my body.  Today I tried but the light feels dark.  Maybe I’ll try using my fake sun lamp.  The days are overcast and grey still, it’s not helping.

This morning my daughter started crying that she wanted a friend to come over.  The reality of social distancing and us all holing up in our house is become evident. It’s hard to tell a social 8 year old girl that she can’t see her friends.  Thank goodness for FaceTime.  

And our dog seems happy, though.  She is with us 24/7.  I wonder if she needs her Layla time, I don’t think so.  

This morning after my daughter was so upset, I threw in the towel with the learning checklist.  It was too much.  She just needed to relax and snuggle into the day.  We took a walk to the park and foraged for plants and flowers.  Artist Faith Evans-Sills had posted something about it on her Instagram page and I was like - ooooh, I need to try that.  It felt like Mother Nature was trying to show us her beauty.  I looked closely at the shapes of the leaves and the colors as I planned out my mandala.  Then I did a drawing / gouache sketch of them.  I will add to it again.  I keep thinking that I need to work on a large canvas, but it just feels way too much for me right now.  Baby steps.

I keep thinking that feels vaguely like when a hurricane was pummelling towards Florida when I was a kid, or when I holed up at home in Okinawa when Typhoons were predicted.  But this is different.

I nap and try to stave off a wave of anxiety.  I do my meditation before I went in for my last art journal club after school club for awhile. I rode my bike, hoping the wind and imminent London rain would be fine.   I swear its the highlight of my week.  These kids that just love to sit around and pour their hearts out into this blank book.  I normally have a big lesson plan and show them some cool technique.  It’s intense and sometimes exhausting.  This week it was a fraction of the kids and we sat around and I let them do whatever they wanted.  We listened to “I’m a Banana” by Incision and The Weeknd and Billie Eilish.  It was calm and felt like a knitting circle.  Except I was talking to 9 and 10 year olds.  It was magical.  They stamped and painted the covers of their books and just played.  They took them home and I encouraged them to work in them while school is out.  Perfection.  

I walk to the Chemist.  Social distancing is hard in a small space and the guys are working hard, I can tell. There’s no privacy, so I ask them in front of the audience of customers if they’re ever going to get the HRT patches that I need in. 

Our local CO-OP food store was bare.  I got some smoked salmon for my husband.  There were four packs.  3 for 10 GBP.  I took two.  I kept thinking of the workers risking their lives to help people and they can’t get food.  UK Mother’s Day is on Sunday, but the flowers were stocked.  I took the budget flowers.  A month ago I was in NYC and feeling a bit flush.  Not how.  It’s budget time.  But back to the flowers, maybe I’ll embellish them with the wild rosemary growing in the backyard.  


I wave to the bus driver from my bike, there are few people on it.  I look like a crazy construction worker with my high visibility neon vest.  I don’t care.  I’ll start looking for something cooler to wear soon.  Definitely not a priority.  

Before all of this started, I was feeling like a hamster on a wheel.  After living in London for over 3 years, I definitely have my groove.  But it’s been hard.  I am still very much of an emerging artist and how to make a living with it has weighed heavy on my mind.  Call this the Capricorn in me.  Life has felt very fragmented as a mom and then launching a business.  A boulder up a hill.  Dave was starting to help more with school runs to free me up.  This will be interesting when it’s over.  When will it be over?  I’m trying to go with the flow.  The river is outside of our door, rising and falling daily.  A reminder that our power is in the hands of Mother Nature.  What does she have in store for us?  I need to allow it all to happen.  

My art journal club starts in an hour.  Time to shower and look presentable.  I want to spread joy and light.  Please spirit be with me.  


Art journal livestream is over.  Wow, I loved that.  Dave helped me monitor questions and people from Japan to LA joined in.  I felt calm and happy when doing it.  Not one ounce of anxiety.  I felt like a proud momma when some of my virtual students showed off their work.  I’ll do it again next week.  The online ART JOURNAL CLUB.  


Another episode of the Healing Powers of Dude.  I laugh before I go to sleep. 


 a note - this is free flow writing.  Raw and not edited so much.  Same for most of the photos.  I kindof like it, when did everything have to be so slick and perfect? 



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