Diane Lowman is a yoga instructor who has lived in Westport for 23 years. Last July, Diane was named Westport’s Poet Laureate and shares observations of daily life through the haiku she posts on Instagram. Unlike a lot of people, she’s self-quarantined completely alone—“no pets, no people, no nothing”
“I noticed that before this I spent a lot of time outside of my house because I didn’t like feeling of being at home alone, but now I’ve learned to make friends with it. I’m practicing yoga at home, and making meals for myself. I’m trying to create structure and learning to appreciate the process of making peace with myself.
My sister lives in town as do my ex-husband, his wife and their 10 year old son. My 25-year-old son has also come to live with them. I have a lot of family around me and earlier in the social distancing process, my ex and his family have been gracious about having me over. My sister has had an autoimmune condition so I’m careful about not being with her. I fully feel what it’s like to be alone– but it’s not all negative. There are times when I crave conversation that isn’t electronic, or the casual touch of a hug or saying hi.
I didn’t like feeling of being at home alone, but now I’ve learned to make friends with it.
This time in isolation and dealing with crisis reminds us that we are more similar than different. It reminds me of 9/11 and how differences dropped and we felt united. I’m seeing this every day. I hope that feeling lasts–including having us all pitch in to help so many of us who aren’t fortunate. My biggest fear is what will happen to folks who are less able, financial, mentally, emotionally, physically, socially. How will we work to get them through this? I know that the economy will come back but I worry about those who will slip through the cracks until it does.
Writing poetry now is different for me. Over time my haiku has evolved as a journal for me. It’s triggered by what I see which may or may not have to do with how I’m feeling. But now it’s very introspective, in terms of isolation and the larger situation. I have store of photographs that I’ve taken for years even when I was living in abroad and some resonate so well with the feelings of today—like gargoyles from church carvings–that didn’t have a sentiment before but now really work.
There are silver linings in all this – the slowing down. The kindnesses. Things seem very broken right now but this is finite and while the world will be different it will mend.