I’m on vacation! Just for today, actually. I’ll be back at work tomorrow, but today is a day off for me. And this really just means that I’m on my computer in the living room (at the back of the house) rather than my office (at the front of the house) and WOW what a difference! It truly feels like a vacation!
Not really. These are the things we tell ourselves in isolation.
This vacation day was originally planned for Friday, April 17, the first full day of Hamilton’s gritLIT Festival, so today feels a little bittersweet since obviously, gritLIT didn’t happen the way it was intended – there is gritLIT content coming online very soon which is exciting, but there is nothing like the thrill of being in a room with dozens of writers and readers, of participating in a writing workshop with one of your favourite authors, of attending a reading, purchasing the author’s book and having them sign it right there and then for you. Literary and book festivals are among my absolute favourite things in the world and it’s been hard watching the dates come and go, honestly. And not just gritLIT, there are a lot of other festivals that won’t happen because of our current isolating and physical distancing situation.
But the really nice thing about these kinds of festivals – any arts festivals I suppose – is that you can still support the work of your favourite artists by purchasing their art, their books, their music, even if you weren’t able to see them live and in person. You can make a donation to your favourite writers festival; you can order books from authors you were hoping to see, and you can order those books from your favourite local bookstore, some of which are doing curbside pickup or making local deliveries! You can find your favourite bands and musicians online and order music or merch directly from them or from their record label if they are signed! You can even purchase works from local artists and artisans to support them while this is all happening. And, if you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of money to spare right now, you can talk all of these people up on social media! Share their work, help get them followers! Like songs on Spotify, and add them to playlists! You probably know all this, I doubt I have to tell you, but somehow it feels good to say it “out loud” right here.
And it’s not the same, of course. Who doesn’t miss live music, author readings, browsing in book and record stores? Not to mention eating in restaurants and wandering through parks! There is so much we’re missing right now, so very much.
And like the rock says, I hope you are ok.