Buddies-at-Home is a series of content shared by Buddies staff, working from home during physical distancing – from recipes, to playlists, to musings on living in isolation. This contribution is from our Bar Manager, Patricia Wilson.
What am I missing today? What did I miss yesterday? What I am I going to miss tomorrow? My old way of living, from loves, to friends, to my favourite foods cooked my favourite way, and some of those foods cooked by my favourite people. Perhaps some of this is sounding extreme but when you are exiled all that is happening. We are exiled from our lives, from what we thought was our lives. Exiled for now, and we are travelling and on the road so to speak waiting for the ride to be over so to arrive at our new destination. Our old familiar home after the pandemic is no longer there for us. Exiled, we have moved away from where we thought we would be, in the future even at this tired moment.
My eyes look up when I come out of my sleep and if I haven’t fallen asleep in my chair and I made it to bed the first thing I see is the spinning bedroom fan constantly spinning as we run it 24/7 as the saying goes. It works with the slightly cracked-open window to keep the air in the bedroom moving and fresh.
If I stare at it long enough it reminds me of a few other ceiling fans that have greeted me as I awoke from my sleep. Fans existing in places like London, Ontario, I think there was one in New Mexico or perhaps Colorado—for sure in California—anyway a few spinning ceiling fans have greeted me in my mornings. A funny thing though that I want to say here, if I was looking at and examining the fan it meant and still means that I did not dream over the night, or at least upon awakening the nightly astral journey was completely forgotten. If I still possess the dream when I crawl back to wakefulness I can only examine the dream and I notice nothing else. Only the dream matters and takes precedent over all things routine until I have worked it to death or scared the shit out of myself with what I think it meant. At either point it’s time to begin the glory of my routine for that day. I describe my routine as being glorious because it creates a calm that allows me to eat the right food, keep fit, love myself, and others, and do my work. The routine for me is also my leveller. All things are clearer when they are passed through a leveller. Oh the Glory, the Glory of being a goddamn human being in these scary times. We are being shifted daily emotionally, mentally, and even physically. We are told one thing and feel something else we are exiled from our own feelings and touchstones that were once part of the routine.
So what are we to do in a time where those routines have been taken from us and we have lost so much some of us even loved ones, the ultimate loss? We must create new glorious routines to make us forget being exiled from what was once ours and is now gone. Things will never be the same but we can shine in the creation of ourselves surrounded by the strength of routine and the realization that we are our homes and our work. Even if our work changes completely or somehow changes shape it’s what we make of it. Our homes and our work are so much more than bricks and mortar. Especially today with all levellers we have available to us we have the chance to create, to live, to love, and to never be exiled from ourselves again. We now have a chance to work and really see the world and how it lives in us.
This quote feels like it may work here as I think about Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and all the artists and the many people whose life itself is pure art facing a new life in some way or another.
“Fortunately art is a community effort – a small but select community living in a spiritualized world endeavouring to interpret the wars and the solitudes of the flesh.”
— Allen Ginsberg
Photo of Patricia Wilson by Tanja Tiziana