For years, I held a fantasy about pausing for a month of solitude. I read May Sarton’s “Journal of a Solitude,” Doris Grumbach’s “Fifty Days of Solitude,” and Dale Salwak’s “The Wonders of Solitude.” In my usual fashion, I sticky-noted the pages in anticipation of my own journey someday.
I never did find the time for my “Walden” until now. Here it is! I have been isolating myself for several weeks.
I knew I had to tone down my anxiety, which was based on fear of contracting the virus, fear of the changing economy, new fears emerging every day. I know that fear can affect your immune system, brain, circulation, and digestion. I decided to embrace the mounting unknowns in the world with a sunny-side-up attitude, and shift my fear into clear, focused thinking. The fantasy of solitude I had held close for so long gave way to creative thinking: How could I find a unique way to approach each day?
As Doris Grumbach revealed, “Order, sequence, is a secret of being alone.” Now, on weekdays, the minute I get out of bed, I tune into a new online yoga class from my gym. Then I settle into my office routine, which tends to begin with a Zoom meeting. I wear a business jacket on the top and casual yoga pants on the bottom. Don’t tell.
For work breaks, I practice Einstein’s method of sharpening his creative knack with a few rounds on the violin.
In place of my 2:30 p.m. Rustica coffee break ritual, I walk around one of the neighboring lakes. I often walk with my friend, Lila, the mandatory six feet apart. We brainstorm and laugh. I return to my home office refreshed and inspired. I’ve walked more than 60 miles in the past few weeks and I am feeling more fit than ever. My immune system is smiling.
Somewhere, May Sarton is smiling too, knowing that I have taken her words to heart: “Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers.”
Due to COVID-19, quite a few of the events I was booked for either postponed or cancelled, so the demand for cakes and mini desserts has slowed down. But my love for brunch is at an all-time high! This slow time has given me a chance to play around with brunch pastries (sweet and savory), which helps keep my creativity at its peak.
My go-to resource for brunch pastries is Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery book, or my old notebooks from my days in restaurants. I also follow cake decorators from Russia, Australia, and Malaysia. I now have more time to watch their tutorial videos, read their blogs, and check out their pictures.
As an artist and writer my time is spent between making art and blogging about my art work, sharing photos about Minneapolis and the environment. Since the Covid-19 Virus has altered everyone’s life I continue to document life as it is for me now. It’s a way for me to document my tiny corner of the world. You can read and enjoy my blog here: http://kunstkitchen.wordpress.com/
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