Buds are emerging. Snowdrops and crocuses poke their heads above the ice-packed ground, determined to flower against their iron prison. April 2021 (lockdown freedom?) appears on the horizon of a calendar that has come to mean almost nothing. Confused thoughts spiral around my head as Instagram reminds me that it’s been almost a year since we entered this strange, new version of the world.
And yet… Life begins, again. I see it in my friends. The pregnancies, the life-changing moves from one country to another.
I’ve been in lockdown. We all have. Not just physically, but mentally.
But here I am to say hello and ponder what creativity in lockdown has meant – for me and also … you? I really would love to hear.
My sewing machine remains a long-neglected friend. She (he?) sits in the corner of my living room. Never discarded, but definitely neglected. I’ve struggled to make clothes over the past year.
Partly, this is because … lockdown. Why bother? I don’t go anywhere, rarely see people. Zoom could be pyjama bottoms and a nice top. Bras have become a nicely academic subject and regular showers a moot point. I have still religiously applied make-up, like a hospital inmate, determined to see the best of the world through a sliver of mirror.
But I’ve found too many mental obstacles to sewing clothes. Having always claimed that sewing was the perfect mindfulness, I found it not mindful enough. It’s a bit like standing in front of a block of marble, knowing that every slam of a hammer on chisel will change the sculpture for ever.
A bust dart isn’t just a dart. It’s the apex. Of life, no. But it sometimes felt like that. Too. Much.
A side seam needed to be judged just right. Too much right. Too much risk of wrong.
There was the constant trying on, undressing and then dressing again. When I could barely find the energy to dress in the morning.
It was all too much. For this tired, little brain at least.
I’ve turned to other creative pursuits. Embroidery. The most basic of knitting. Writing in the early hours. Anything that could allow me quiet thinking whilst the rest of the world slept. Solitude. Our saviour and our enemy during these difficult times.
Yet, here we find ourselves. Friends lost, friends found. The world moves on. Those buds unfurl, popping against the sun’s heat, and it’s an iron-sealed heart that can’t embrace that.
I find myself unfurling, too. A few hundred words of a blog post is enough, surely. Who knows? We’ll see.
My loves! We have so much mental health to unpack. Why not start here, right now? Let me know how you’ve been getting on?