honesdale news

Not bound by what once was

By COFFEE CUPMAN*
Posted 5/26/20

Do the days matter anymore? For a while, I’d lost track, then oscillated between thinking every day was Friday or Saturday. Now, I’m back to wondering about each one …

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honesdale news

Not bound by what once was

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Do the days matter anymore? For a while, I’d lost track, then oscillated between thinking every day was Friday or Saturday. Now, I’m back to wondering about each one again.

There’s some uncertainty in the present chaos. Hardwired routines seemed so fixed in place that a perpetual state of weekend was only imaginable or previously enjoyed in a festival setting. There are no festivals at the moment, however. Therefore, no frame of reference for this community place and headspace exists. The current frame is this: being fully responsible for every day’s creative spark for MANY days in a row.

I’m trying to enjoy and maximize this seemingly bonus time alive in Honesdale. To do so, I must check some privileges that afford me and my family a healthy existence. We’re also privileged with not being forced to consider choosing between making money and staying alive. For this, I’m thankful. I’m also hopeful that future neighbors worry less about the health of their families and that nobody else has to make such difficult, basic-living choices during emergency or regular times.

This can be a time of rebuilding. Our systems could be better at supporting disruption and change, but there’s usually room for improvement with everything. When Tuesday and Sunday express themselves similarly and offer similar opportunities, it’s a lot easier to stay rooted in the present; there’s space to cut some new grooves. In these open channels, we can consider what’s here already and how things could be built better.

One new pattern we have is ambling around with fresh eyes. There’s more room to ponder.

What does walking feel like here? How do cars and people inhabit the same road? What improvements can be made to accommodate diverse users of common ground?

Since our walks have become more open-ended, we’ve started some walkability planning, mapping and studying to answer questions like these. You can join in similar fun, too. To answer your immediate question: Yes, it absolutely is fun walking around with a click counter collecting traffic data.

More time provides more opportunity to think about all sorts of local stuff. We don’t need to wait for grand projects and grants to come to us. There’s plenty that can be done and folded into what we’re already doing. The more we all can exist and act locally, the stronger our bonds become. Ideally, there will still be time and space for this kind of work when we reach the other side of this wellness story.

What do you wonder about as you meander through your neighborhoods? Two things this global health crisis have reminded us of are that everything is connected and that we’re not bound by what once was. We can make and remake our communities using better lighting, every single day.

That’s not a pandemic silver lining. It’s more of an enhanced ability to see daytime sunlight when we’re not full-speed running around so often. The strolling pace illuminates more trails within the local landscape.

Thanks to farmers, grocery clerks and healthcare workers for keeping everyone fed and healthy. You all deserve more hazard pay and paid vacations. We’ll leave more festivaltown thoughts for another time, but when we can have movie fests again, we’ll set some tickets aside for our friends working essential jobs.

*Coffee Cupman one of Derek Williams’ many pseudonyms, makes maps, movie festivals, and other things under the project umbrella of Canaltown. You can find more H’dale stories at canaltown552.com or social channels @canaltown552.

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