Here is the latest Q&A conversation between Marsha Pearce and artist Nyugen Smith. It is part of the series Q&A Quarantine and Art [also see previous post Q&A Quarantine and Art.] Here are excerpts of the conversation. For full interview and photos of Nyugen Smith’s work, go to Q&A: When a Tree Falls. [NOTE: Join Nyugen Smith on June 17, 7:00-8:00pm ET, for the third conversation in The Wave online series.]
Marsha Pearce: How are you, Nyugen? How have you been caring for self in this time of social distancing and sheltering in place?
Nyugen Smith: Thank you for asking how I’m doing. The few words that come together to ask the question, activate so many thoughts, feelings and questions inside me. I can only answer for today, and in fact, it would be more honest to answer for this moment. I take a day-by-day approach. This helps me to focus and not be overwhelmed. Each day I try to take time for myself, check up on a friend or family member and spend quality time with my wife, Sherene. Every day, each one of those takes a different form. It was especially difficult for me in the beginning and over time, my disposition continues to evolve. I’ve learned that during this time, I am not the only one for whom the concept of time (time of day, day of the week, remembering scheduled appointments) is/was an enigma. I’ve gone on and off of regular exercise routines, especially after they closed my local park (now reopened). Some days I’m affected by sadness as I think about it all and most days I’m incredibly grateful in the acknowledgment that my family and close friends are safe, are in good health, and that we have safe places to shelter-in-place. Caring for self during this time…hmmm… well, some days I shower, get dressed and put on a fragrance like I’m going out somewhere. At this point my semi-regular exercise usually shakes off the cobwebs from the mind and body. I’ve been cultivating somewhat of a wild garden in the front of our home over the last two years and it has been nice to get back in there to plant more, move things around and admire what’s happening in that space. It’s rewarding to see people, who are passing by, slow down to take a look. Some lingering cosmetic home renovations have kept me busy and gave me something to do with my hands. Then there are the other intentional acts of pleasure that are getting me through this time. Allowing myself to feel what I feel without guilt has been important. [. . .]
NOTE: Join Nyugen Smith on June 17, 7-8pm ET, for the third conversation in The Wave online series. The event will focus on Spiritual Sustenance.
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