24 January

Sketching. The Sweet Moments Of Aloneness. A Covid 19-Meditation

by Jon Katz

I’ve worked alone as a writer for more than 40 years, being alone is a constant feature of my life, one that suits me and that I have come to accept and even love.

Being alone is not being lonely for me, it is being safe and it is a way to heal.

This year of anger, rage, violence, and virus is different from my other years of aloneness. I feel isolated from my fellow citizens, and the isolation I live in is somewhat forced, not voluntary. We can’t invite our friends over, we can’t go to their homes.

We went to the farmer’s market today and the virus rate is rising around here, I had to sit outside in the car while Maria went in. I felt especially useless – and alone.

I don’t know that I need to see a lot of people, but I like to know that I could if I wished to.

The vaccine process is chaotic and bewildering to me,  as to everyone else. I went on the New York State website and found a vaccine site in Plattsburg, N.Y., they can give me a vaccine sometime in March.

It easy to sign up, Plattsburg is to the North of us. The site is several hours away from the farm.

No one can tell me why there are no vaccines available that are closer, some places have run out, some have yet to receive any doses. Almost everyone I know is finding a vaccine somewhere, I can see the partial end of this now, probably sometime in the summer or fall.

Even our warring politicians can’t stop this.

Maria thought it was good that I signed up somewhere, and it does feel good.  She has been worried about me.

We very much enjoy our time together, but I notice both of us are working on deepening and enriching the friendships we have.

Maria Zooms with her friends, walks with them, texts back and forth. She has good friends, she is a good friend.

These friendships are deepening, being seeded like a flower. They will last, I think.

I like to talk with my friends on the phone.

Tonight, I felt I had to talk to someone, I called my friend Christine Decker, an actress and we kicked some ideas for plays around, I’m always pestering her to write a play, I think she’s thinking about it. I love talking to creative people.

As I talked to Christine, I saw Maria take out one of her notebooks and start sketching. She is an artist every minute of the day, her life and her art are not separate from one another.

I love watching her sketch, a peaceful mist hangs over her, and she enters another world.

In a sense, it was a Covid-19 moment, a tableau out of the Covid life we all are leading,  a place she can go to anytime to find the nourishment and connection she needs.

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