I’m having trouble with words these days. Or maybe it’s an issue of focus. The writing isn’t happening at all. This is a problem when you have a blog and a newsletter – so I’m still trying to eke something out that I can send for the latest installment of Comfort for the Apocalypse. But I’m not beating myself up about it. Things like canning, sewing, gardening, and offering support to those around me are taking precedence right now – as are working out, reading, and getting rest. I see what I’ve prioritized in the last few weeks, and I can’t argue with myself about it. It’s just what makes sense right now.
I’ve been posting a lot on Instagram and last week changed the name of my account to Birdsong Workshop to better reflect the diversity of things that happen in my home and studio. Birdsong Textiles felt a bit too weaving specific, and since it’s only one of the things happening here I thought a change was in order. There is a lot of sewing content right now, but I will start to include canning, cooking, and gardening content as well. Not being out in the world as much, I have more time to document little bits of our life here on Gabriola and something about Instagram appeals to me greatly in these times. I suppose it’s because I think of it as friendly social media and curate my feed to weed out political memes specifically (I get a lot of that content in all other parts of my life).
On the weekend I went through my closets and drawers and purged them of everything too large, worn out, or not my style. I also went through the shoes and removed everything I can no longer wear due to my Morton’s neuroma (basically, anything that narrows my toe-box is out these days and probably forever). While I have been quietly sewing a new spring/summer wardrobe that fits my smaller body, I had a rule that no new clothes could go into circulation until the old were cleaned out. When I was done I had a pile of “garbage” (some of which has been cut up into quilt squares), a bag of give-aways, an armload of me-mades that I am going to attempt altering down in size, and a small stack of clothes that are too big and also too complicated to alter that I’m not ready to let go of yet.
Even in these times I have a great feeling of refresh as the garden comes to life and the house gets aired out on warmer days. A new routine has emerged that involves daily yoga and workouts in my garage, trading on the local barter board (sourdough starter for kale, rhubarb crowns for canned chutney), and a weekly bread bake on Sundays. It’s not what I thought April would be, though in a lot of ways it’s better. The removal of external expectation that I be *other* places has been a bit of a gift.
But still, not everything is quite right inside my island bubble. I have trouble with focus and a hard time caring about things not concretely important, I am worried about a future where this virus is always a possibility because we can’t develop immunity but also about everything going “back to normal”. I don’t want to return to racing around all the time, but I would like to be able to go to a restaurant or an open mic again. I don’t mind working out at home, but I do miss going to my gym!
These times highlight my planning mind – one that switches easily from the logistics of work travel to maximizing food stores and community connections. Given that spring is the season of thinking ahead, I am well into turning over all of the things in my life although I don’t know exactly what I’m preparing for next.