I’m writing to you today from self-isolation land.
This is a time that we will never forget. And I have been thinking about strategies to get through this and I’d like to share some ideas to help us through this time of isolation. I’d also like to share with you my own personal journey. I hope you’re all doing ok out there.
This is a defining moment in our society. And though it seems like it will last forever, it won’t. Someday we’ll go back to life, some version of it. We’ll be able to gather with friends and go to work.
Someday we’ll be able to let our kids play together and hug our moms.
Someday going out into the world won’t be a scary thing full of hidden dangers and constant threats of infection.
But for now our only course of action is to do as we’re told, to trust that we are moving in the right direction.
Coming from a very small place that is always isolated on some level, it is not hard to see the benefits of our self isolation. Prince Edward Island, fingers crossed, has so far missed out on the worst of the virus. So far no deaths, no massive infection rate. It is due to our government, especially Dr. Heather Morrison, and to all the people behind the scenes keeping things calm and sending clear directions for us.
Inside my house, there is a rollercoaster of emotions. My daughter is home without her friends but keeping up with everyone and her school work thanks to the magic of the internet. My partner Mark is working from home (though that is about to end) and I am writing and creating and going for walks. I am also spending days looking out at the field, not able to accomplish one single goal. Recently I spent an entire day crying.
I am up and down and sideways.
And there is a sense of grief that hits me from time to time. Every time a gig gets canceled further and further into the future. Every time a tour is canceled.
Meanwhile, there is also a sense of joy and gratitude. Playing live concerts so far has been heartwarming. There is a similarity to an actual show – I feel you out there responding and listening. That keeps me going.
I’m also finding time to do things that I always wish I had time for – cooking, baking (gawd, the baking!), sewing, planting seeds (literal and metaphorical), tending to the house with a love I don’t usually have time for. And did you know you can regrow kitchen scraps? I’ve been regrowing green onions, romaine lettuce, basil from cuttings… these are thrifty times. A throwback to the post-war generation.
And somewhere, in all that, I also found time to write and record with my dear friend Tara MacLean. We wrote This Storm in reaction to feeling so far from our loved ones, as a way to curb the fear and take care of our hearts. We made a video that is a collection of video hugs and kisses and sentiments of love from PEI to the world. A thank you to our frontline and essential workers.
The response to that song has been incredible, and the stories coming back to us have been heartbreaking and heartwarming and real.
(Thank you for watching and sharing.)
With the tragedy in Nova Scotia on Monday we need more love than ever. We need to look out for one another. Could we to stop criticizing people and start making generous assumptions? If you see someone visiting someone at their house – perhaps they needed groceries that they couldn’t risk getting themselves. If you see someone helping their grown up daughter to put up a swing set in their backyard, let’s assume they are practicing safe precautions. And I believe generous assumptions will get us a long way from in-fighting and closer to community building.
This truly is a defining moment in our society. How will we let it define us? This is an excellent time to look inwards and reflect. Here are some suggestions for ways to get through this and maybe end up happier on the other side:
And if you need support or have some to give, here are some great places to check out (yes, I see my Canadian bias):
Your Local Food Bank
CAMH – Centre for Addictions and Mental Health
Canadian Mental Health Association
Unison Benevolent Fund
Most of all, stay safe, stay home, and thank you for your support!
Love from Baie-Egmont, Prince Edward Island,
PS To celebrate my birthday on Thursday, I’m doing a little live stream on my Instagram. 6-7pm Atlantic Time. Come join me, ask me a question and meet my family. Don’t forget to dress up! xo