Creativity in the time of Covid: N M Browne

Checking on my last post, I am disturbed to discover  that to use a well-worn phrase from a
previous historical era ‘nothing has changed,’ or at least, not much. The camellias have died back, the rosemary is making a bid for world dominance and the birds are extemporising their own symphony. I have still barely read a book let alone started writing one.
 There are differences: I am writing this outside and  there’s a lot more traffic on the road, cars, motorbikes, buses intermittently drowning out the bird song, reminding me of our noisy normal. The clear blue sky above my house is tracked by planes and Trump’s ability to believe seven stupid things before breakfast appears to be contagious, though limited to the higher echelons of government.
 Friends of mine in mid novel are struggling with normality or rather with how to characterise it. Will we still be socially distancing in a year? Will we ever eat indoors in restaurants, drink in pubs? More pressingly for me, will I ever get my roots done, and will I, as seems increasingly likely, cease to care?  
   Like most of us used to solitary home working, what has been revolutionary for many people is just a modified more-of-the-same for me. Days slip by, as they always have, with large sections of the ‘to do’ list undone (and sometimes unwritten.)
    I am still writing poetry compulsively, but feeling less guilty about it. I imagine there is a glut of novels and the satisfaction of producing something small but complete almost makes up for its utter lack of economic value. Perhaps that is something else that has changed, not just for me but for lots of people: as a society we have begun to recognise the sustaining power of the arts even as all around us creative venues, and creative livlihoods are under threat.
   I know it is going to be even harder to make a living, but more important than ever to use our  creativity to  make living better. Sometimes when writing seems an indulgence it is good to be reminded that in times of trouble, music, literature, art of all kinds becomes an emotional life-line – a way of connecting people, a way of making some kind of sense of chaos.
 So, that’s what I’m doing as lockdown eases; sitting in the garden writing poetry, trying to make sense of chaos and listening to bird song battle traffic noise.

I know I’m privileged, I know that people elsewhere are struggling with bereavement, sickness, poverty, uncertainty and depression. I feel helpless to change any of it, so I do the only thing I can and write about it.




Comments

Fiona said…
Love your honesty and creativity! Time for a drink methinks! We are allowed to meet up now!
Sandra Horn said…
I am enjoying your poems enormously - poetry is one of the things that keeps me hoping, so it serves a purpose - thank you!
Eden Baylee said…
Thanks for sharing about your experience during this trying time. Funny how it's more of the same for many of us who are writers, and yet, it feels different too.

I am fortunate, but I absorb the collective angst much more than I should. :(

Stay well,
eden
Nicky said…
Thank you!
Shivendra Yadav said…
Great Content, Superhigh-quality and keep it up :)

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