My Daughter, the You Tube Star

Well, to her handful of followers.

I used to worry about her isolation since a breakdown a couple of decades ago, followed by chronic pain…and she spent many years with me out in the middle of nowhere. But these days she’s busy all day moderating a discussion group and does this weekly you tube show (or whatever you call it). (Laura Malcolm You Tube, if you’re interested.)

This evening I have a zoom call with a local women’s circle. We haven’t met in person for months. I briefly saw the organizer last night, when she brought me some nice rotten hay from her horse barn, and it was so nice to chat for a minute. (Outdoors, at distance.) And as a confirmed hermit, I normally don’t much enjoy these encounters.

There are these electronic ways (I guess) for people to still hang out.

N’less, when I went for my morning walk I stopped by my other daughter’s place and left her & her husband some buttermilk/blueberry cake and chatted for all of 5 minutes (outside, at distance) and felt energized for a while. There’s something about actual in-the-flesh other human beings.

Used to be at grocery the other people were just, like, part of the furnishings or something. Now they’re something to be actively avoided. I go at Old People’s Hour, or shortly before closing when it’s also pretty empty, and when I and someone pass in an aisle we edge away from each other, turn away our masked faces. On the way home I sometimes drive down main street instead of quickest way, just to look at people. Not that there’s many of them, in winter, in little old Hope town. And while I used to gripe that hardly anyone was wearing masks, now I am freaked out because everyone is, with only half a face showing, or, with hats, even less.

(One woman I saw this morning was wearing a black and red checked jacket…and matching mask. There’s room for creativity…of a rather pathetic kind.)

Speaking of zoom – couple months back, instead of Canada’s largest pagan festival, which now numbers over a thousand at a converted campground but originated many decades ago with a dozen people on my former acreage, the organizers substituted zoom sessions. I was on one about the origins of the festival. On a practice run, everything went smoothly. On THE day I couldn’t get my audio to work, and eventually had to literally phone my contribution in. Which upset my and my partner-in-crime’s plans as to how to proceed. Owell, it worked out, more or less.

The following session, when I was just there as a commentator, my end worked perfectly (and I took advantage to deliver a little soliloquy at the end).

But I guess my point in all of this, if any, is that while some of our current substitutions for in-person interaction are useful for some people, at the same time for a lot of others the situation is doing a number on their psyches. Yet another thing to undo, when and if.