Snowbound artist date

We’ve been snowbound for five days now. It started snowing again yesterday, and is still going strong — another few inches have fallen at least, but with all the snow that was already present, it’s hard to tell how much new snow there is. Comes a time when it almost doesn’t matter.

We’re still fairly comfy here, with power and heat and the ability to communicate with the outside world. I’m holding fast to these gifts, remembering to be grateful. Food-wise, we’ve reached the end of last week’s planned dinner menus, and are now seeking out the odds and ends in the freezer and pantry. Tonight’s meal is true pot luck, but we’ll be all right. I mean, last night, when I said I had a craving for something sweet, one of my partners made chocolate ganache and the other made caramel taffy, so how can I possibly complain?

Even so, my intuition tells me that nerves are getting a little frayed around here. We’re all having to make sure that we find ways to get the solitude we need — time away, even from each other. So, today, I took my artist date. I grabbed my journal, a couple of magazines, a book of crossword puzzles, a coloring book and colored pencils, and my beverage of choice, and I went into my studio.

Given the right mood, this could have been gleeful playtime for me. Books! Toys! Games! Privacy! My own little room! Oddly, though, for the first hour or so I just…sat.

I sat in my favorite chair. I rocked, gently, in silence. Sometimes my eyes were open, sometimes they were closed. Sometimes I was decidedly awake, sometimes I was mostly (entirely?) asleep; generally I was somewhere in between. At one point, I found myself internally chanting, “Nam myoho renge kyo…” which is odd, because I’m not a Buddhist; I guess it’s just a part of my inner cultural landscape.

Perhaps I just needed to be a harbor seal for a while.

Then a phone call roused me from my dreamy state, and I became a bit more active. I played guitar and sang. I wrote in my journal. I tried coloring, but the pencils didn’t feel right — not rich enough, not smooth or creamy enough. I opened the book of crosswords, but knew almost instantly that I didn’t feel like doing that, not right then.

At length, I started hearing voices outside my studio door. My daughter knocked, eager to share something she’d been working on. I let her in. The artist date had reached a natural conclusion, it seemed.

Was it a good artist date? I’m still pondering that.

I didn’t do anything in particular, but that’s all right; I did what I wanted to do, what I needed to do. I spent deliberate time with myself, doing something festive, filling the well.

Would I have preferred to go out somewhere? Honestly, yes. That wasn’t possible, though, so I had to content myself with going in somewhere — with turning inward, and resting there.

It’ll do, for now.

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