Focusing on my work is one of those things that has always been a semi struggle for me. I can have an excellent focus on my work, but it takes having a well ordered environment for me to get there. A good chunk of my work is done in my home studio, which is also my bedroom. I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to get something done, incorporating home/studio maintenance was an absolute necessity. Being in an ordered organized environment gives me the calmness that I need for that focus and the ability to create.
Now, this is not to say that I can’t function in chaos, it’s actually quite the opposite. Chaotic situations cry out for order and that makes my focus go into overdrive. Emergencies are a type of situation that I do well in, as I can quickly and calmly focus and figure out the best course of action. It is the demand to make order that gets my focus.
The current situation we all find ourselves in is something I have never encountered before – an apocalypse. (I don’t use the article ‘the’, but ‘an’, humans have encountered these kinds of events before and we will again after this one passes.) The similarities to the AIDS epidemic are definitely there, but that experience did not prepare me for this – the fear of just going outside or doing the simplest of tasks, like being around other people to do basic shopping. To say that this is overwhelming is an understatement.
The chaos has made me focus on the immediate needs – do we have enough food? Is the house clean enough? How do we pay bills? What precautions should I be taking? The never ending horror show of our government has been all consuming and unbelievable and has been putting me into an almost constant grief state. It is utterly unfathomable and stupefying to me that the things that we are witnessing. A chaos that is out of my control. While I’ve always been a keen observer of society, I’m able to separate the things that were out of my control and let them be. It took a while to nurture that ability and now I find that I have to re-develop it for a unique moment.