Instructions for use: I created this in April 2020 to investigate my own feelings associated with an abundance of free time: how we fill up space with more chaos, create new routines, and dream. I also want to make sure you are being gentle with yourself, not trying to be productive when your body says rest, and holding space for whatever needs arise. So, when you are ready, go ahead and Print This Page! Note there are a lot of links floating about, maybe you want to click them first? If you are willing, able, and would like to support more work like this, you can send a Venmo to @rivercramer or PayPal to rivercramer@gmail.com


I S 0 L A T I 0 N   E N   M A S S E



“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.” - Annie Dillard


M 0 N 0 T 0 N Y



Are you feeling one of the following?

Select all that apply:


 Dull                         Excited                         Rejuvenated
 the same                         Rested                         Wispy
 Wearisome                        Monotonous                         Worried
Inspired                         Connected                         Content
 like a balloon                         Cautious                         Hopeful
 Involved                         Curious                         Melancholy
 Listless                         Overwhelmed                         Tender


Do you fall heavily towards feelings of positivity or negativity? Are you an equal mix of both and does it depend on the day? Good! You are human after all. This workbook was created to investigate how we spend our days in isolation. This is an opportunity for vulnerability, to accept whatever arises for you in this moment.



W H A T   W E   D 0   W I T H   T H I S   H 0 U R



Maybe you are walking the hallways and rooms of your apartment looking for a nook to clean. Exploring your bathroom from different angles. Drinking while crying on the floor. Has your garden bloomed or are you getting stronger? Journaling each day and stretching in the morning? Everyone is processing this time in their own unique way. Describe how have you been spending your days:







An entry from my Livejournal during Sophomore year of college.


I D L E   D A Y S


Before I found out how to text on my Nokia or how to send pictures on my Razor flip phone; before Spotify, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, PornHub, Myspace, Friendster, Napster, and Twitch; before chat rooms, concentrated hours of online gaming, and dropping into that para-meditative state of online shopping which is followed by gut pangs of guilt there was boredom.

Those were the idle days.

My idle days were spent looking for creatures in the patterns of my acoustic ceiling in my basement, watching lines of ants march across the kitchen window with crumbs from some past meal, exploring the flight patterns of dust bunnies as I passed my hand through the lazy afternoon light. In evenings, I would wander into the yard waiting for the first star to appear or cataloguing the colors of the sunset. What is your first memory of boredom:








“And thus, my love, as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst through my half-closed eyelids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,”



M I D W A Y   S T R E T C H   
0 F   H A L F - C L 0 S E D   D I A M 0 N D S



What is the difference between indolence and idleness?





How does isolation engage with your creativity?





If you took the whole day off from media consumption, what thoughts would you have and what would you be able to see?





Here are some things I see/hear/feel/dream/make up when I’m floating around:
The constellations behind your eyes, the elasticity of your skin, your childhood dance routine, how the sun in your hands just sort of sits there and waits for you to notice it, shadows whispering with whitespace telling family secrets across a white wall, the way forward, and you–clearly.



Another Sophomore entry.



“And tranquil muse upon tranquillity,
Full many a thought uncalled and undetained,
And many idle flitting fantasies
Traverse my indolent and passive brain–
As wild and various as the random gales
That swell or flutter on this subject lute!”


L 0 C K D 0 W N   B L U E S



For many, this is a time to truly celebrate what makes us feel whole. To go outside alone in the wash of last year’s bramble, hunt for signs of spring, and plant our gardens. For another set, we miss the touch of our lover’s, worry about the health of our parents, stress at the supermarket. Will you be honest with me for a moment? It is likely a mix of both?


I enjoy spending time alone.     ☐ True     ☐ False

When I am alone, I am easily able to relax.     ☐ True     ☐ False

Lockdown/isolation has been easy for me.     ☐ True     ☐ False

I find myself under a lot of pressure to be productive.    ☐ True     ☐ False

I am spending more time on my phone.      ☐ True     ☐ False

I miss being touched.      ☐ True     ☐ False

I want things to go back to the way they were.     ☐ True     ☐ False

There is a sense of urgency behind everything I do.     ☐ True     ☐ False

Routine is good for me.     ☐ True     ☐ False

Ideas come easily when I am bored.     ☐ True     ☐ False


For many, in this moment, there is an opportunity to create a new world for ourselves. If this is a reset, what do we want our world to look like after Covid-19 passes?








“And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic harps diversely framed,
That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps,
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the soul of each, and God of all?”


0 R G A N I C   H A R P S



Brian Eno, “Thursday Afternoon”

Hiroshi Yoshimura, “Soundscape 1: Surround”

Midori Takada, “Through the Looking Glass”

Kayhan Kalhor & Ali Bahrami-Fard, "I Will not Stand Alone"

John Carroll Kirby, “Conflict”

Suzanne Ciani, “Seven Waves”

Green-House, “Six Songs for Invisible Gardens”

Lake Mary, “Sun Dogs”

Terry Riley, “A Rainbow in Curved Air”

Alice Coltrane, “Reflection on Creation and Space (A Five Year View)”

Toumani Diabaté & Ballaké Sissoko, “New Ancient Strings”

Robbie Basho, “Visions of the Country”

Laurie Spiegel, “The Expanding Universe”

Julianna Barwick, “The Magic Place”

Gas, “Königsforst”

Virginia Astley, “From Gardens Where We Feel Secure”

Susumu Yokota, “Sakura”

Huerco S., “Those Of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have)”



Y 0 U R   C 0 V I D - 1 9   A C T I V I T Y   S H E E T


My post-C19 dream is of play, vulnerability, and connection. I am seeing the same from many. How idleness can activate the strangeness inside. It generates the weirdest of our ideas. Below is a list of Lockdown Activities; some common, some strange. Try some of these activities. No need to do all of them. I have included ideas to document all of them. Any activity is welcome and I invite you to make up your own and share!


The hope is to create an archive of how we spend our days. If you would like to share, send me a .zip file/share a Drive folder/tag me on social (@rivers.dream.house) as you complete and send with this sheet, your documentation, and answer the questions below:



Name:

Email:

Social:

You are open to me sharing this work at some future date:

Most Felt Feeling in Lockdown:

Are you alone or with others:

A Tweet length review of sex during the Covid-era:

How often have you cleaned your home:

What kind of support you need most:

Do you need someone to talk to/a reach out:

Your love language:

The first person you will hug:






  1. Try a new recipe and plate it as if you were at a fancy restaurant. Send me the name of the dish and why you chose it.
    1. Write a review of your dish.
    2. Video a one off cooking show
  2. Change your hair in some way. What inspired you?
    1. If you cut it, save some and send an image.
    2. If you color it, write a poem using words from the box of dye.
    3. Before and after images.
  3. Participate in a virtual dance party. What party was it?
    1. Create a brand new dance move. Name it and send instructions on how to do it.
    2. Screenshots are obviously appreciated.
  4. You might not know someone who has passed from Coronavirus, but you definitely know someone who knows someone. Light a candle for them.
    1. No need to document this one. Just share a moment of silence.
  5. Video chat with a family member you don’t often see.
    1. Who is it? Did you call them or did they call you? Do you think you will keep up?
    2. Screenshots with name and relation!
  6. Take an ambient sound recording from your surroundings.
    1. Send it to me with details!
  7. Build a fort and sleep in it for a night.
    1. Send me a picture!
    2. Video journal from inside the fort.
    3. Timelapse of building the fort.
  8. Bring home a bouquet of young branches blooming, daffodils, and snowdrops!
    1. Send me a picture.
    2. Tell me what you collected and why. How does it make you feel?
  9. Make your own mask from clothing you no longer wear.
    1. Tell me about the piece of clothing and what it means to you.
    2. A picture of you wearing it
  10. Create a C19 playlist. Thematic ideas: dancing alone, living in a virtual age, WFH.
    1. Link me to the playlist.
    2. Send your playlist to a crush/partner and have them write a review. Send me both.
  11. Try a new at home fitness routine.
    1. Create a workout video and share.
    2. Document your progress (for example: April 6th - 5 pushups, April 30th - 100!)
  12. Create a Lockdown Journal in a medium you don’t usually use to express yourself. (writers try drawing, textile artists try writing a poem, sculptors try video)
    1. Send a few documents of days that were either particularly light or heavy.
  13. Support a local business in some way, meaning boycott Amazon and connect with your community.
    1. What was the business? How did you support? Do you often support local/small businesses?
  14. Add a new morning routine for yourself. Ideas include: light incense, have a moment of silence for those lost and hurting, call a family member, write a letter, drink a big glass of water while standing in the sun, take a selfie and appreciate yourself, make tea instead of coffee, journal a bit, send a different someone a sweet and caring text, stretch big and breathe deep, read.
    1. Send me your own list of morning routines.
    2. Make up a list of creative routines.
  15. We’ve become really good at washing our hands. What about our feet? If you are in lockdown with someone, wash their feet. If you are alone, take some time to wash your own feet. Do this in silence.
    1. What did this feel like? If you are with someone, interview them about their experience. If you are alone, document the experience.





F R 0 M   ‘T H E   E 0 L I A N   H A R P’

B Y   S A M U E L   T A Y L 0 R   C 0 L E R I D G E


And thus, my love, as on the midway slope

Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,

Whilst through my half-closed eyelids I behold

The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,

And tranquil muse upon tranquillity,

Full many a thought uncalled and undetained,

And many idle flitting fantasies

Traverse my indolent and passive brain —

As wild and various as the random gales

That swell or flutter on this subject lute!

And what if all of animated nature

Be but organic harps diversely framed,

That tremble into thought, as o’er them sweeps,

Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,

At once the soul of each, and God of all?