Rewild Your Spring (Survival Edition)

April 5, 2020

 

 

 

Long stretch of cold and rain here, any trips out into the world restricted to getting food. It's not really grocery shopping anymore.  I texted my mother the other day that I feel like some kind of Paleolithic hunter/gatherer. With five adults to feed for the duration, most of my time is spent on food procurement, rationing and prep. Three of those adults are hungry millennials (apparently still growing!) so I've taken to hiding snacks and hard to come by staples. Several of the small markets and farm stores in my area are now offering curbside pickup. I cobble together a week or two's worth of groceries from a few different places where farmers and store clerks take distancing seriously, even bleach my credit card after our transaction. Feeling so grateful for everyone keeping stores open and making food available, for farmers harvesting early greens, young hens just beginning to lay as spring light strengthens, all delivery drivers and mail handlers everywhere. I've never thought so much about the precariousness of infrastructure than in these last few weeks. I know some parts of the country have been hit harder than others, there are states where you can still be in an enclosed space without a face mask or too much worry. Here in Mass., our infections are rising by 1,000 a day. Yesterday we went over the 10,000 mark, today nearly 12,000. My county, as a rural one, has one of the lowest infection rates in the state, but we also know the numbers are probably higher. Honestly, I don't have immediate concerns for my own health (unless I read too many articles in one day). I'm lucky, I can stick to home.  Many can't choose to do that. From nurses (my brother and sister-in-law among them), to the crew at my post office, grocery store baggers, electricians, plumbers, even pet groomers; a good portion of society is still showing up for work, for the rest of us. And there are those stuck in apartments, worried about rent, bills, getting enough food, small business owners who lost their livelihoods in a matter of weeks, those with physical challenges and medical conditions that were hard to manage even in the best of times. Others are home without pay and afraid. Some have become full-time caretakers of elders or family members with disabilities, still others navigating mental health issues in isolation. I feel helpless and don't have any answers. I know you've probably read sentiments similar to these many times over the past few weeks. I'm not going to dole out advice or presume to know what would be helpful for anyone else. Some of you are working full time jobs from home and schooling children of different ages and abilities. I did homeschool my boys from day one if you need any advice on that front. I also lived without electricity, plumbing, running water or refrigeration for three years. Let's hope it doesn't come to that! I can only hope that a combination of individual, local, state and federal aid, resourcefulness and empathy can get us through this nightmare. And that the greatest scientific minds around the world can devise treatment and immunizations. I've been bookmarking interesting sites for this series of rewilding posts since last fall. Sorry this spring edition is late. I was feeling a bit fatalistic and useless, but some readers chimed in about how much they enjoyed the winter post. So, for the greater good 😊 here is the Survival Edition of Rewilding your Spring. Be safe, stay healthy, and please don't write the next King Lear with all this "free time", you'll make the rest of us feel like layabouts! 

 

 

 

 

Emergency Resources:

 

'Anonymous Was a Woman' emergency relief grant for women-identifying visual artists over 40

 

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

 

Federal Coronavirus Resources and Help Center

 

Give Directly delivering cash to families impacted by Covid-19

 

Coping with Covid; Financial Implications for Creative Individuals. Free Online Workshop happening April 7th

 

A Look at Some Financial Assistance Available During the Coronavirus Crisis, ABC News

 

Big list of Covid-19 Resources for Poets, Poetry Organizations and Artists and Arts and Culture Organizations

 

Emotional well-being during the Covid-19 outbreak for those suffering and struggling

 

 

 

Learn:

 

Think Resilience, Free Self-Directed Course

 

For all you textile lovers and crafters, Selvedge Magazine has a great blog featuring things like Sikki grasswork and Japanese 'mino' and 'bandori'

 

The prison embroideries of Mary Queen of Scots

 

Conservation Training courses

 

The Learned Pig one of my favorite blogs and this article: The Foraged Map

 

Resilience, Insight and resilience for turbulent times

 

Drop the hustle. On keeping hobbies fun!

 

450 Free Online Ivy League Courses

 

Free creative writing class all about monsters for grades 6-8

 

Author Sara Maitland on solitude

 

Free Brown Bag Lunch Writing series 

 

Poetry for Social Justice, six week series

 

The Ash Project's free downloadable education pack

 

Nature's antidepressant: dirt

 

Month to month guide to some commonly foraged edibles

 

 

 

 

Projects:

 

MoMAs Ekphrastic Poetry Project; read poems by some of the best contemporary poets paired with pieces in the MoMA collection and where you can find them within the museum when it's safe to visit again.

 

How to ration your rations

 

Matter Press is publishing ten collaged tarot cards from my series titled 'Fractured Tarot for the Anthropocene'. The first one is up and a new one will appear every week for ten weeks.

 

Launch your own Object-A-Day Project

 

Volunteer as an armchair archivist. Help librarians transcribe a trove of historic letters and diaries.

 

Commit to 100 days of creativity with the 100 day project. Begins April 7th!

 

250 creative activities and ideas for kids and families

 

 

Make:

 

Six basic crochet stitches

 

"Build" your own cabinet of curiosities

 

DIY no-sew face mask

 

Cabbage keeps but sauerkraut keeps longer

 

Depression-era recipes for hard times

 

Construct a simple box loom and make your own coasters or place mats

 

Collage is the most versatile art/craft your whole family can take part in

right now!

 

21 junk food recipes, just because...

 

Brooklyn Art Library's 28 Day Challenge (pay what you want)

 

A world in an Altoid tin, and another and this one too!

 

Frugal wartime recipes at The 1940s Experiment

 

 

Grow:

 

Ten vegetables you can regrow from kitchen scraps

 

Maine farmer saving rare heirloom seeds

 

Calculate how much you'd need to plant for a year's worth of produce

 

10 vegetables easy to grow from seed

 

Some tips for gardening with kids

 

Free seeds

 

 

Feel Better:

 

Niksen, because the Dutch have a word for all the things we should be doing/ not doing

 

Nine mindfulness and meditation podcasts

 

Zen and the art of doing nothing

 

Listen to When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

 

Royal Canadian Airforce exercise plan (aka, why Helen Mirren looks so fit). Only takes 12 minutes!

 

Reflexology for anxiety relief

 

Listen to the book Do Nothing

 

Smith College's Poetry Center is putting together Digital Care Packages, fill out this form to be included

 

Free 20 minute Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) session

 

Watch this live eagle cam from Iowa, this waves cam at Pemaquid Point in Maine, an Audubon crane cam and the entire menu of live nature cams on this site 

 

Crafting through a crisis

 

Calmsound offers free nature sounds including a thunderstorm, country garden and rainforest 

 

Tara Brach's guided meditations and Pandemic Care Resources

 

 

 

I don't get notified when readers comment on blog posts and have been quite tardy in discovering some very kind comments. I apologize if you commented and I didn't reply. Feel free to email me at smallsaltstudio@gmail.com or sign up for the newsletter and send me a message through TinyLetter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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