The Greater Madness

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”
Ray Bradbury

“We all go a little mad sometimes.”
Norman Bates

Work from home. Stay at home. Lockdown. Social distancing.

You’ve heard these expressions and more. It is life during a pandemic, regardless of your affiliations. Now, I’ve always been told that most artists are a little standoffish, socially awkward, introverted. Maybe that is an inherent part of digging deep down within yourself to feel what is going on around and within you and then expressing it through your art.

But there have always been social outlets. Back in the day, there were salons. We’ve had open mics and conferences and gatherings, both among ourselves and with the general public viewing and commenting on our art. These days we have Zoom and Skype and Google Meet. We have the technological wherewithal to “gather” and communicate.However, the very essence of our humanity IS the interaction. Seeing someone in person does not compare to an image on a screen even if it is in 4K HD resolution.

From a job standpoint, I have worked in call centers for the better part of 20 years so I am not missing anything by working from home, except for that same interaction with co-workers (especially the newer ones who are dying to see which Hawaiian shirt I will be wearing that day). It’s the gathering of artists, fellow writers, going to a coffee house and seeing a local artist’s work, a concert featuring a singer or group I am unfamiliar with.

This is where Mr. Bradbury and Mr. Bates both have a say in this situation. I have been writing, editing, researching, anything that will make me feel accomplished as a writer. I have been baking: muffins and breads mostly. Also, coming up with new creations and finding a way of doing something (ANYTHING) with the abundance of homegrown tomatoes I have been given (marinara sauce, baked sun dried tomatoes, etc.)

It is only through these acts of creativity that the separation from the world in all of its glorious five senses can be made acceptable. It is only by exerting that creative sense I can feel human in the true and honest sense of the word (and not a number or statistic as one who has or has not become ill). Otherwise, Mr. Bates speaks truly.

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