Friday, March 27, 2020

Not Alone: Quarantined with Your Creativity (A Tool for Sanity and Survival)


As virus-related changes have been unfolding around us daily, and now all able, responsible people are some combination of quarantined and socially distant, I’ve been thinking about how we creatives can find the silver lining and make the most of our situations, how we can focus on our creativity and imagination now and continue to produce great works. I’ve been thinking of Irina Dumitrescu’s collection Rumba Under Fire, which
traces ways that people have turned to the arts, liberal or fine, for highly personal reasons, reasons often inimical to the workings of power. Anand Taneja considers traditions of local storytelling that run counter to official national histories; Judith Verweijen shows the ways soldiers find their sorrows reflected in song lyrics; Cara De Silva describes the ‘dream cooking’ that allowed starving prisoners and POWs to hold on to their identities; Carla Baricz and [Dumitrescu] chronicle the efforts of political prisoners to maintain their sanity through writing and teaching.
As Jenny Drai wrote in her review
the book makes a cohesive argument not just about how engagement with the humanities can help temper or explain various political or humanitarian crisis, but that there will always be multiple, equally vital ways — from poetry to scholarship, and more — to process ideas in and of themselves, and that these multiple approaches can be tools for survival in harsh times.
I hope that your creativity is surviving with you throughout the current pandemic, I hope you are practicing ways to exercise your body and your mind locked up at home, and most of all, I hope you’re staying healthy and safe.*

What are you doing to keep your creativity (and sanity) alive these days? And what are you reading? Please share your answers with Editwright’s Facebook and Twitter.

*If you are not safe, please let someone know. Lives are changing, and sometimes that puts people in danger. Argentina Parra says in her memoir Silence Is Not an Option
Talk to a family member, a friend, a counselor, or a doctor. Even if you feel like there is no one you can trust to tell, there is still hope.... Once you find someone who will listen, or an organization where you can get help, do not be timid and do not remain quiet—you are the only one who can take the first step. Remember, silence is not an option. Speaking up can be your bridge to freedom.