• Dr Margi Brown Ash

Two weeks self isolation...

As I reflect on the state of the world, I think of the difference between then and now...three weeks ago we didn't have to think too much about anything other than what we needed to do in order to move forward in our career, staying connected to our families, our friends, and our colleagues. Nothing was off the table, all options considered. And three short weeks later, everything has shifted. My last week of teaching at university was a little anxious provoking, making sure we all washed our hands before we entered class, but social distancing wasn't a thing. Yet. Now, our dreams have reduced somewhat, but no less potent. Our dreaming sits within our 'compounds', the places we call home.

The question "What will I do today?" includes work, of course, it does. But has that work found a more even ground? Is our work really as important as we think it is? Or could we reassess: the work that IS important right now is the work that keeps us alive, and is, in many cases, quite poorly paid: the nurses, the food delivery people, the farmers... the list is very's as though our world has turned upside down: the people who we regarded as successful, the high-end earners, the famous ones, the ones who 'keep our economy going'...have drifted into the background for a while, and the roles we deeply value are the service industries, the health care professionals, the farmers, and the delivery people. And. The. Artists.

We are turning to our artists to find solace in those in-between spaces where fear visits; when the unknown looms in far too close...

Our artists keep us company. The books we are reading, the films we are watching, the TV, the exquisite efforts that our performing artists are undergoing every day to keep us entertained.

I spend half of my day sitting on my couch, computer propped, talking with artists about how to stay buoyant in this climate...our conversations are rich, with much listening, a little bit of reframing, and lots of dreaming on possibilities as we enjoy each others company, over a cup of tea. It may be virtual, but it is delightfully alive with ah-ha moments, silences, interruptions, laughter and tears.

It's now the weekend, time to refresh and nurture my family, both face to face and virtually. We will watch a movie tonight (SBS On Demand), a movie made by generous artists who interrogate our world. We will eat food delivered by our local market, deliciously fresh. I will look up new recipes that some artistic chef has uploaded. I will play with my dogs and feel gratitude that even though sometimes the world feels like its upside down, we are connected in so many ways.

Contact if you feel like a cup of tea. I am here every afternoon, ready to create new ways forward or just listen to you (the best way is Facebook messaging or email).