While quarantine season has been up-and-down, self-isolation has also brought me back to being grateful for the basics. After getting over the shock of not being able to see friends or family, wearing a mask to the grocery store and feeling like I was living in a science fiction novel, I decided to make a choice between fear or an attitude of appreciation. In the moments when I am not feeling freaked out because of financial instability or loneliness, I have made a conscious effort to look deeper into what I have rather than long for what I don’t. On some days it works and others it doesn’t, but soaking up the sunshine has certainly felt better than sulking.

I have also found it difficult to put how I am feeling into words recently, which is why I was thrilled when my friend, photographer Frank Ishman,, asked me to create captions for his new series “Self Isolation.” His imagery perfectly encapsulated what I had been experiencing in the six-feet a part era, which is the desire to explore what I already have rather than adding to it. Instead of rushing to and fro like usual, incentivized by the busyness addiction of modern society, I’ve had the luxury of taking more time with activities from (virtual) conversations to watching nightly sunsets. While this is certainly not a time of relaxation for those coping with unemployment, illness, or homeschooling their children, I hope this series inspires you to revel in joy whenever possible. Savor the flickers of light in the dark even if it is simply taking your dog for a walk. Hopefully by embracing the stillness and silence we can appreciate small pleasures.

P.S. I would be thrilled to know what you are learning during this time if feel like responding to this message. Please know I hope everyone in your life is happy, healthy, safe, and as well as humanly possible. Love, Lily

Images by Frank Ishman

The full series can be seen on Frank’s Instagram page

Lily C Hansen

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