I went into Meijer to buy groceries on May 28, 2020. I mention the date because it was the first time I had been in a grocery store since March 12, 2020. Every time we needed groceries, I went online, ordered them, and had the groceries delivered to our home and placed in a big box on the front porch. Once the delivery person had left, I brought in the groceries, disinfected them, and put them away. I hadn’t personally shopped in about 2 1/2 months. Ordering online was a bit tricky for me, but I figured it out once I saw that the shopper at Kroger had substituted ground turkey for ground chicken. I really don’t like turkey.
I have good friends who consider themselves to be introverts. They’ve never seemed particularly introverted to me, but I have to believe them because they know who and what they are. I, myself, am not an introvert, and those of you who personally know me would almost certainly agree. I have to say that these long months of solitude are the loneliest I have ever been in my life. You know how sometimes you can be in a crowd of people and still feel a bit lonely for whatever reason? Well, being out of any kind of physical contact with family and friends was terribly lonely for me. I’m lucky I have a wonderful husband with whom to laugh and talk, but I missed my grandchildren and my children and my artist friends and my Jazzercise exercise friends. I REALLY like people, though–meeting them and talking to them and sharing stories–I LOVE that. So being sequestered was hard, and I’m pretty sure it was hard for most of you, too.
What saved me was the Internet and the ability to connect to people online. And to download books. And to attend Zoom meetings. What saved me even more, though, was painting. It takes me a while to finish a painting because I ponder a lot. And then I look. And then I ponder. And then I look some more. All that looking and pondering takes time, and sequestering gave me loads of time.
I finished several paintings during these months of solitude, and I probably wouldn’t have done that without having to stay in and, as my friends say, “play with paint.” I had a great time playing with paint. And I played with wax and acrylics. And, of course, I played with watercolor.
Today I met a friend for lunch for the first time since many months ago. I wore a mask into the restaurant, and then took it off when we sat outside with plenty of distance between ourselves and others. It was really nice to see my friend Kris and see how she is doing, not just hear about it.
I have a few things that are of the upmost importance to me: my family–all of them; my friends; my church; my painting; and my love of books and language. I hope that during this time of hunkering down, you, too, have gained a greater appreciation for the things and people important to you.
But that’s just my opinion. Paint beautiful things.