Guest Writer Josh Brooklyn, New York
I’m in NYC baby. The epicenter of this whole thing. I couldn’t be in a worse spot unless I was in fucking Wuhan. I’m kidding. Mostly. It’s really not so bad.
I’m in Bushwick. Well, technically I’m in Ridgewood. Ridgewood is in Queens, Bushwick is in Brooklyn. It doesn’t really matter, just that the subway stop I get off at is in Bushwick and my apartment is technically Ridgewood. Across the street is Bushwick.
Anyway, since I am in NYC you better believe my apartment is tiny. I’ve got two roommates but one of them got outta here while the gettin was good and I’m left with one roommate. His name is Leonardo. He’s from Portugal. He’s the roommate I always fight with. I was actually really dreading being stuck with him but I think I ended up appreciating having someone else around. It’d be hella tough for me to be quarantined by myself.
Full lockdown- I haven’t left this house in three days, and that was just to get food. I stocked the hell up too because I don’t wanna go back out there. The vibes are weird on these streets, let me tell ya. Everyone is wearing masks. Outside of the supermarket, everyone forms a line standing six feet apart before they let a certain amount of people in. It’s eerie. All the pasta sauce is gone, and my mom is really insisting I just get my groceries delivered.
This quarantine has fucked up life for everybody. I don’t feel good about this at all anymore. I really thought it would be kinda cool at first. I spent the first couple days just writing raps for hours on end, and then spent the next couple days laying in bed for hours on end. No job, no school, just all the time in the world to do whatever I want.
Unfortunately what I learned about myself is that with all the time in the world…I do nothing. Or I do nothing but write raps.
I’m either manic or depressed. That’s been a fun thing to clock in myself. I think if I was living alone I would really be spiraling by now.
There’s this new vibe everyone I know is exhibiting that’s basically along the lines of “nothing matters because we could all be destroyed by a plague, or war or a meteor or something totally out of our control, so the choices we make on a day to day basis might not matter as much as we think.”
I dropped out of college when I was 19. I was gonna be a lawyer and I dropped out to move across the country so I could write and act for tv. Sometimes I would ask myself “was that the right decision?”
And after this I’m going, I could have been a lawyer. I could be going to law school right now. I could be doing all that and still, right now, I would be quarantined at home wondering if I made the right decision because a plague or war or a meteor could fuck everything up at any time. In a weird way, it’s reassuring.
This shit has affected me profoundly in a lot of ways and also profoundly not at all in a lot of ways.
I hate social distancing. I love hanging out with my friends. I loved my classes and I do not love their bastardized online iterations.
I think the world needs more yoga. What I mean by that really is just for people to be more connected with their bodies. Our mind and body are one.
Picture ancient humans, we’re always running around hunting and gathering and having fun ritual dances around fires with masks and shit. That’s human. That’s fucking primal shit. We love it, we love ritual, we love connecting to ourselves and others and we think we do it in our brains (we do) but we also do it in our bodies.
I say all this as someone who went their entire life with no mind body connection. In the past couple years, I have connected to myself through voice classes, Alexander, and yoga. Alexander, by the way, that’s really what I think the world needs more of. It’s basically biomechanics.
Humans carry so much tension in their bodies. We get mad. We think that’s happening in our heads but we’re showing it by clenching a fist. Your body experiences and expresses what you’re feeling because feeling isn’t a thing that happens just above your neck. It’s a whole body experience and I think as people we’re so disconnected from that.
I think we all have to take stock of these things constantly and keep a relaxed released body. That’s my acting training, anyway. It was life changing for me so I get pretty jazzed about it.
We spend our whole lives trying to bury our feelings for the sake of work or relationships or because we think it’s easier to not feel than it is to feel meanwhile we love all the musicians and actors who make a living out of all that they feel. We love passionate people who feel a lot, and it’s impossible to do that without being connected to your body.
So do some yoga, get in your body, feel everything that soft animal feels, and bravely encounter the world with all your emotions as a part of you.
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