Our collective pace has slowed. Routines have shifted.
It’s a strange time. However, the restorative posture is welcome, albeit under trying circumstances.
In Honesdale, much is different, yet an undercurrent of normalcy hangs on, like a place’s historical record baked into the sidewalks. Resiliency hums for local listening. The clean white smoke and toasted aroma of Black & Brass roasting coffee for online orders seeps into the back alley while a strolling family dances to the tunes shared by R3 Hardware out front. All’s well and every little thing is gonna be alright.
Disconcerting winds blow through my* Twitter feed, but I’ve been struck by positivity and inspiration. It stems from not knowing what’s next but, in that moment, remembering we can create all sorts of newer things while making older things better. Our friends at the Upright Citizens Brigade might submit that the whole world has embraced the same base reality. Once that’s accepted, we become neighbors and can create new games and patterns together.
That’s what’s got me excited. Fresh space for creation has been gifted to us in these common moments of helping each other out by taking a group breath and staying further apart than we’d like. This is space I probably wouldn’t have made on my own; a screeching halt to regular bus service did the trick, though.
Powered by Anthill Agroforestry spinach from the Cooperage Project’s outdoor market and to-go orders from Main Street favorites, the canvas is welcoming. I’ve been making maps and writing. Others are recording Instagram stories about local takeout or streaming live music concerts online. My roommate and germ-bubble buddy Lisa the Maker recently crafted DIY face shields out of everyday materials to help medical professionals alongside our pal Connor who conjured up templates to easily sew masks for the same. All of this is inspired fuel for the road.
“Always be projects” is a mantra my buddy Dave and I share. This speaks to me now more than ever. We all share the potential to express ourselves and make the world a better place. When we’re cruising along our day to day, we might get distracted from those inherent opportunities. Here, we’re reminded of them every day since we can’t do what we’re usually doing. We have to recut some grooves and, in doing so, we get to explore some questions.
Are all the social systems we’ve taken for granted working for us in this time of change? Are all the structures of our economy functioning well in this time of need? How is the neighborhood doing today? Am I striking the right balance between watching too much Netflix and reading enough new books?
That’s what I’ve been asking myself on daily wellness walks around the block. Alongside this thread of global chaos is local opportunity and community beauty. Within that, there’s a lot of room to address whatever’s on our minds. It’s an opportune time for reflection.
*Yoshi Mathis, 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.