What’s most important to you right now? 

The health of myself and my family. That’s definitely number one and always will be. Keeping in touch with family is very important. I’m very thankful for social media. Health and information are most important to me. I have a really strong home base. I’m in a place I really love. Our apartment is really lively and that’s what makes me feel so at ease-I get to create the energy in my own space. Love is very important for me. Music, cuddles, kisses, hugs. My relationships with love and friendships and Teddy [my dog]. 

What was most important to you before you had to social distance? 

Money is such a daily stress for me but time is something I’ve always wanted. I’ve wanted time to do all of the things that I think as artist we need. I think that artists need time. I was taking a lot of classes–I was working towards what I really want to do. I always felt like I didn’t have any time. I was continuing this daily life that involved me trying to get as much done as possible every day. I miss certain things like interactions with close friends, but I don’t have the same strain that I thought I would. The shut down encourages me to be more focused. It’s that parallel world of how we always say we just need more time, and now we’re given so much time. But now we don’t have money. Mentally I don’t think I really changed–I actually feel like an outsider. 

What’s the first thing you’ll do when this is over? 

I really want to go to see our families. They’ve wanted us to leave New York, but we didn’t feel like that was the best because everyone was getting sick. I think we’re probably going to celebrate really hard. A big party and then we’ll go travel and see our families. 

What are you doing to pass the time? 

I’m writing articles for a blog about Latvian music. Projects! I want to do everything! My brain is so excited to have so much time. I’m getting on calls with artist communities. If I couldn’t connect with people, I think I would feel a different way, but we’re doing all the same things, we’re just not having to wear underwear. I love gaming. I’m trying not to because I also have that part of me that wants to be productive. I read Patti Smith’s “M Train”, I read her “Just Kids”, I’m reading “The Essential Ginsberg”–I just want to get really dirty and 1970s. 

What makes you happy right now?

When I feel like I’m being artistic in this time; that I’m being productive. Wake up slow, say hi to Teddy. The best mornings I’ve had since I’ve moved to New York! I’m allowing myself to be happy in this moment and I’ve created these routines that have brought me such bliss. I’m getting so many hugs. I think hugs are just a universal healing tool. [They make me feel] refocused and refueled cause we’re all in this together. I wish I could express how love gets you through. Being so nurtured–I’m so thankful and grateful every day, I’m so thankful to have a partner. The negativity creeps in and then it does dissipate because I have a strong support system. Coffee, exercise, candles, sunlight, running, jumping, twirling, acting a fool!

What would you tell yourself two months ago with the knowledge you have today? What is the biggest realization you’ve had through this time?

If I knew I would find a way to get in touch with local representation of our government. We’re struggling right now in New York because we don’t have enough ventilators and health equipment. If I knew this then, I think I would try to do something to help. In many ways, the reason I do feel negative is because there’s no way for me to help. I feel sometimes selfish for being so happy. I know that I shouldn’t feel that way, but I do. That’s where so many different elements come into play of trying to balance this feeling of “I can’t really do anything, what can I do to help? Can I work every day to do something to help? Can music help? Can being artistic help?”. Peace and love. It sounds really kitschy and corny, but I guess I feel kind of like I need to take this time. I would try to do something to help, but I’d also probably stock up on some beans! 


Karlene G-New York City

DAY 21