I put my notebook away.
I’m old -fashioned in that I always keep a notebook and a pencil with me at all times, recording a revolving “to do” list on page after page along with notes from meetings, the odd business card and sometimes a theatre ticket or two.
When things turned upside down on March 15th I was away from the office and left my regular notebook there, so I started a new one I found at home that I jokingly titled “Year Zero”. What a funny joke. I’m hilarious. It was a bright green spiral notebook that was utilitarian and decidedly temporary-looking. I thought I would use it for 3 weeks until everything was back to normal, and then pick up my old notebook when things were back on track.
I’ve been carrying that Pandemic notebook around for 6 months.
It’s a daily list of uncertainty, panic, hope, good ideas, concessions and unheard-of considerations. In flipping through it yesterday it hit me, in a new and startling way, just what these 6 months have been like for me, and what it must be like for everyone I care about. Every page is an accumulation of challenges. Every day adds a little weight to the load.
As I get ready to go into a creative process next week with members of the ensemble, I put that notebook on the shelf and picked up the one I was using on March 14th.
I have no illusions about the future. But I feel like I can’t carry that notebook around with me anymore. I was tempted to burn it, but that gesture doesn’t feel right either. I want to keep it, because there has been so much accomplished in these last six months, and I don’t want to forget that.
But there’s something about starting a fresh page.