For all of us, who are so close to flesh, sweat and each other.
For all of us, who constantly seek to exist through human interaction and contact, we are standing here before a global impasse, withdrawn from our original deed.
We must pause, rethink and question ourselves. The great speed at which we have cultivated the Earth, sought honours and artistic emancipation brings us back here, where it all began, in the intimacy of our bodies and our home. As we are housebound, let us use this time, collectively, to reflect, to consider other possibilities, to turn back to right here, to what is near us. Lorganisme pauses to share glimpses of the inside of our homes with you; what our minds weave, what our days look like. How our interior fabrics shift between the personal and the artistic, between our humble ambitions and our new reality. In this time of anxiety, yet profound, we are hoping to reassess and nurture our environment, we are hoping for a greater local valorization, because yes, we dance artists are also fuelling this abyss of globalization. May this period, through the shortcomings it reveals, express the uniqueness of our practice and bring us back to a greater solidarity.
Now. I am watching plants grow. I am witness to their slow evolution. Spring is here, they know it, they’re celebrating it. I can see it. I smile.
I am in slow motion. I try to stay the course as best as I can… with little success. And that is for the best, I suppose, although guilt often strikes, well, that is the way it is. I gaze at the plants, I smile, and yearn.
I think I am learning other things. I talk to my mom a lot. Over time, she has been teaching me things, techniques, family cooking secrets, the rich territory and cultural heritage of the Bas-St-Laurent. I’ve learnt about my grandmother, that is precious.
And sometimes I feel like a student. I write notes by hand. I listen to web conferences on permaculture. I smile. It makes me think and dream in new ways.
I get bored. I miss people, the human brilliance that’s part of my life. I can’t wait to hug, to touch, to feel. I smile. Nostalgia for the future.
I’m experiencing this time of isolation as a second “maternity leave”, but not really since I must finish my Cegep session remotely. So, I am working from home, as a part-time teacher and as a full-time mom of an almost-one-year-old little boy. I use his naptimes to eat, answer a few emails, work, and move about a bit. My partner also works full-time. Our daily family life is intense and sometimes stressful, but we are gradually starting to find a common rhythm. Despite all the negative aspects generated by this pandemic, I must admit that this lockdown enables me to spend more time with Albert at such a rapidly evolving stage of his life.
As far as my artistic practice is concerned, this situation is more than inspiring. The project I have been working on with my sister since 2017 questions our relationship to the environment. More precisely, what might our relationship with Nature be like if it were to disappear? Can we live this relationship through a digital device, a memory, through the power of imagination? This project offers a meditation on the impermanence of green spaces as well as on the necessary and fragile relationship that unites us with them. So, at this time – between Albert, work, grant applications, household, cleaning, meals – I meditate on this most pertinent question. Nature has not disappeared, but it is less accessible, and I am convinced in my heart of hearts that the Human will disappear well before Nature.
Maintaining a semblance of routine because my partner likes to get up at 6:30 AM every day. Trying to move, to stay in shape by browsing through the multiple options offered online by our fellow dancers/coaches, avoiding jumping to avoid annoying the downstairs neighbours. Reading way too many articles every morning and keeping up with daily press briefings. Trying to stay creative in other ways by reinventing the layout of the apartment, taking photos, drawing, sewing. Finding out that your new everyday life isn’t so far from what you know after all, especially when you continue all the administrative tasks associated with being a choreographer.
Cooking 3 meals a day. Thinking of all these full-time stay-at-home women and mothers. Reading Deleuze, studying the causality of time and trying to articulate a project on the perception of time during Covid-19; finishing a full-time university session. Finding oneself browsing social networks too often and reading multiple articles without ever finishing them. Living with four people in 750 square feet, sticking together, loving each other, feeling suffocated. Working out the best you can thanks to Studio Set. And despite all this, the sensation that a Sunday always does feel like a Sunday.
SOVANN ROCHON-PROM TEP
I am taking time to breathe. I am finally sleeping long enough to meet Canadian sleeping recommendations. I started watching shows again, something I hadn’t done since “rabbit ears” antennas became obsolete in Quebec. I moved a few times. I eat full and varied meals. I work out a little. Despite waves of anxiety about the uncertainty of the future, I spend a lot of time reflecting on my luck. At this time, I am finding myself surprisingly privileged to live with so little material things. The security of having little to lose … and to have earned enough last year to be able to benefit from government assistance. In spite of the exceptional measures taken to help the population, my thoughts go out to the most vulnerable and destitute who are still being left behind. No, we are not all in the same boat.
After a busy first week dealing with cancellations and rescheduling and trying to convince myself that “it’s going to be all right”, I realized that my world took a hit, but I am confident that it will be able to pick itself up and reinvent itself. I work, try to catch up with everything that was already on my desk but that I kept putting off indefinitely for lack of time, all this with a half-operational brain and an amputated ability to concentrate. I am progressing slowly but surely. I am also getting used to family life again, with our grown daughter who had to leave her student housing in Ste-Thérèse to finish her session remotely. Welcoming her boyfriend under our roof, so that they can continue to see each other, and being a little worried, all the time, since both of them work in grocery stores, with all the risks that this entails and the inappropriate behaviours of some customers. I am learning tolerance and patience, to grow closer to one’s extended family and believing that, in the end, there will have been some positive aspects to this situation. I am trying to focus on those and imagine what the future will look like.