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Day 5 A New Medium

Well, we’ve been self-isolating for around five weeks now. Even before this pandemic started, I was pretty isolated, meaning I didn’t see people much. Usually I don’t mind, though now I really miss people. I’m back in Wisconsin and there are so many people I’d love to visit and catch up with, yet, I cannot. I know I can video chat with people, though it’s not the same. Why am I sharing this? Well, let’s be real here… and I guess if you’re feeling alone maybe sharing that I feel alone too can make us both feel less… alone. We’re all going to get through this!

Going out seems so weird now. We needed to grab some groceries before we move our lives once again to a different place, so we went to the organic grocery store. The vibe felt different inside, empty, lifeless, when usually stores like this feel vibrant and healthy. This pandemic is taking a toll on so many people; the collective must be tired and ready for a rest. Writing that feels like a paradox because we are basically forced to rest right now, and I feel many of us are stressing about a few categories in the game of life. I crave some sort of certainty in all of this, just an answer that yes, we are going to have a place to live, and yes, we’re going to have a steady flow of income. In a way, all of this feels like an incubation stage where we’re hiding in a dark seed, not knowing what is going on all around us, and someday, the shell of the seed will open.

A friend texted me today and said he was doing a live ukulele concert and wanted to read one of my poems in-between songs. I felt overjoyed when he reached out to me - I felt honored he wanted to help support my work. He asked for me to pick a poem out of my book for him to read, so I went through Morning Motivations until I found the right one. I flipped through poems about motivation and positivity, reading the words I wrote and how relevant they are during this time. I’ve had an unusual visitor the last several days - anxiety - and it is manifesting as fear in my chest. The poems I re-read gave me some peace, that everything is going to be just fine, and this is all passing by soon. It was all a reminder of hope and faith, and not necessarily in religious terms (you guys know I’m not religious).

Faith is trusting that what you want and need is coming; it is here, however the Universe chooses how to manifest it for you. We can’t know answers all the time, but faith is that hug, that soothingness that we need in times of hardship. We are all going through something very deep together as humans, and everything happens for a reason. Finding faith and choosing hope instead of panic and fear is what’s going to get us through all of this. We can do it, together.

A week ago, I ordered some new paints to try out, a new medium. I saw some artists on TikTok using gouache and loved the matte, and watercolor-y effect they had. Yesterday, I received them in the mail and started painting with them right away. The first page of my new sketchbook… well… it was completely random and made no sense! I had fun though, getting a little loose and learning how to work with the paints. Today, I decided to paint a scene, and I’m pretty pleased with what I came up with! I’m more of an abstract artist, my art taking no resemblance to being exact to what it really is. Here’s what I came up with, a springtime scene in the forest! Maybe the trees are cherry or oak blossoms? I’m not sure, they are cute though!

My second gouache painting!

As I finish off this post, I gaze out the window at the tree that stands by Austin’s car. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve gotten to know the tree a little bit, just watching it out of the window. It has a character, a face. Somehow, the branches up top form two circles that look like eyes, a calming gaze upon me sharing that it sees me and knows I’m here. The eye branches curve down like a V and create a pointy nose, in which a slight smile underneath peers through. The bottom branches appear to be opened up for a hug, letting me know it supports me. I find solace in nature, in things like this, and value the imagination that flows through my mind. Nature is a soother, it is what keeps me at peace, and I’m so glad nature can reach me even when I’m stuck inside, isolated, waiting for spring to explode after the cold weather passes.

Sending you love,

Ashley

Day 5, 264 days to go

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