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Sheltering-in-Place, Day 1

Caption, Day 1 of (?): Shelter-in-Place 2020. I’m determined to not re-enter the oubliette of clinical depression. The disaster is outside of me. I’m dressing for the party I want to be. I feel a little ridiculous, and that feels like home—or maybe hope. Yes, I’m leaning away from the world on purpose. No, that isn’t really a smile. Indeed, I am barefoot. The image is a digital drawing of a self-portrait of the artist looking at a floating on globe on fire. It's cartoonish on purpose.

The text on the image reads

Day 1 of (?): Shelter-in-Place 2020
I’m determined to not re-enter the oubliette of clinical depression.
The disaster is outside of me. I’m dressing for the party I want to be. I feel a little ridiculous, and that feels like home—or maybe hope.
Yes, I’m leaning away from the world on purpose.
No, that isn’t really a smile.
Indeed, I am barefoot.

 

I'm okay. I'm going to be okay. This is part of how I'm doing it. 

During our collective, yet separated, attempts to get through the coronavirus pandemic, I'm learning how to use a new piece of digital drawing equipment. Luckily, I had it ordered and shipped to me weeks ago. I just gave it my first try today. It's a Huion drawing screen, a monitor that I can use a stylus directly on in order to digitally draw or paint. It's going to take a little getting used to, in a good way.

For the foreseeable future, I am not able to use my oil paints. They're my favorite, and almost all of my artwork has been done in oils for years. With the shelter-in-place order being put in place at midnight last night, I'm no longer able to work in the reasonably ventilated art studio outside of my cute little home. My home really is both cute and little. The little part means that there's no way I can safely paint in oils at home. I scooped up what I thought would be useful, safe, and productive (and fun) from the studio last night and brought it home. Most of it is still in the back of my also cute and also little car. One step at a time, you know?

One of the many times I woke up in the night last night, I thought to myself about all the memes I saw with people comparing their comfortably pajama-ed selves to their Mad Max or Tank Girl expectations of their apocalypse wardrobes. I realized that if I stayed in my jammies, regardless of peacock, penguin print, or hardware store logos, I would be fighting a losing battle against my mind. I didn't want to lose. I don't want to lose. I spent a significant amount of time recently climbing out of a very deep depression. My pinhole of sunlight finally turned into a glorious, full sky with clouds, rain, birds, and the odd helicopter. (I live in a city. Helicopters happen.) I woke myself up in the night because there's no way I'm going to let all that slip away again.

So, sometime around 4:34AM, I decided to dress in the things I love and like and hardly ever wear because there aren't enough places I go to wear them. I decided that The Plague Times or Apocalypse 2020 or Pandemic Nation or whatever we're calling this shelter-at-home thing we're doing is a once in a lifetime event (hopefully). And what do we wear to once in a lifetime events? Whatever the hell we want.

I also decided that I needed to share this somehow. Putting photos of myself on the internet is not something I enjoy. So that was out. I usually firmly state, "I don't paint people." Well. There goes that. 

Today's outfit, on this, my first day of sheltering-in-place in 2020, includes a super soft chenille sweater that I think I got at a store called Garage. It's like wearing a gentle hug. A comfy claret colored tank top is layered underneath. I love tank tops. The skirt is one that I picked up in San Francisco at one of the SF Opera's excess/old costume sales. It's striped. I think it's raw silk or rayon. It's sort of variegated. It caresses the ground as I walk and is a bit longer in the back, so it trails subtly—a good skirt for not wandering about outside too much. And before you think I'm all fancy-pants (just a little schmancy sometimes, really), I waited in line for hours, enjoyed most minutes of it, was gifted an earlier entry ticket from a kind stranger who gave up, found this by digging through racks and racks of random gloriousness, and finished off the waistband and closures myself which meant is wasn't expensive all because it was unfinished. Chorus peeps don't always get zippers, it seems. I love this skirt mostly because of the day it reminds me of. It was a really good day. Every time I wear it, I get to think of a really good day of exploring and kindness and scavenger hunting in a city I loved.

I need to remember every good day I can right now. This situation is hard for everyone. We are all going to cope in different ways. This is one way that I'm doing it. I don't know if I'll do this same sort of thing tomorrow or not. I don't know if this will help me tomorrow or not. But today, it's keeping even as little as one of my pinky toes from hitting the edge of that oubliette. And that's what I need most.