It was still early in the morning and it was already almost fifteen degrees in the sun. We walked along the Loing, a left tributary of the Seine, whose 143 km long course crosses the departments of Yonne, Loiret, and Seine-et-Marne.
Last Sunday, my friend from (almost) always had organized, as he knows how to do so well, a small hike of about fifteen kilometers near a charming little town about an hour from Paris, in the department where we both grew up.
The spring temperatures at the end of February, which I confess worries me more than anything else — I suffer at times from eco-anxiety, a kind of melancholy due to climate change — had nevertheless motivated us to enjoy the sun and the outside air for a good walk. It was like a deliverance, because being a full-time remote worker in a small apartment in the city, I need more and more to spend time outside to air out my body and mind.
I also know that walking is a great activity, as much for the body as for the head. I’m not telling you, walking is good for the body and mind. It’s even a great stimulant for creativity!
There were eight of us along the river, him, several of his friends, and I, discussing everything and nothing, our occupations since the beginning of the pandemic and our current projects. With masks on our noses, we still managed to laugh and relax. To tell you the truth, I even talked about Scribe’s future book of poetry to a very cool girl in the group, who has just started a job as a children’s literature editor at Hachette.
A little before we stopped for a picnic, I was talking with a friend of my friend, and we were remarking that since the beginning of the crisis, with the successive confinements, restrictions, and the generalization of remote work, people seem to develop more and more their creative side.
You can hear it everywhere here in France. People are cooking, reading, and writing more (publishing houses are drowning in manuscripts), playing a musical instrument (guitar sales have exploded), painting, gardening…
The time spent at home suddenly becomes a time when everyone can express themselves more creatively. One can then wonder, what if the pandemic had a benefit, that of giving birth to a new generation of green artists, talented and concerned about the future of the planet?
With the widespread use of remote work, which allows people to spend less time on public transport, but also to move away from the big cities to the countryside, the regained free time allows everyone to engage in multiple creative activities. This is great news!
Some experts say that these new ways of working are going to last, and maybe even become the norm, so I’m starting to believe in a gentler, more artistic future. Imagine, a world where we have more time to create and write.
I think of my late grandmother, her bright eyes when she proudly showed me her silk paintings on the large solid wood table in the living room. I can still feel, under my fingers, the softness of the blue silk cushion she made for me when I was little. She chose the painting, I chose the words.