I created the Tournesol a little over 2 years ago as a passion project to document my wellness gleanings and connect with others, but selfishly I also created this website in order to keep myself busy and express my creativity during a time where I was not allowed to work or leave the United States due to my greencard application process. I am Canadian and when I applied for my greencard it took 9 months to receive my travel and work permit, and a year to receive my greencard. So lets be honest... this website was a bit of a 'sanity' project if you will. Which to me is maybe one of the most important aspects of wellness...Mental health.
I wrote and photographed content and tried to adhere to timelines I set for myself, collaborated with other women in my community and asked them to share their voices on this platform, and held a Tournesol Women's event called "Creativity in the Canyon" at my house with different co-hosts that taught us kundalini yoga, took photos, did human design readings, and I set up a painting station (which we never even got to because well, there was wine involved, and we all had much more to chat about than expected). Once I received my green card work papers I began traveling again, and doing more work as a photographer and this sanity project got put on the back burner.
Enter world pandemic and there I found myself (yesterday) at 4:30am wide eyed, starring at my ceiling after being awoken by a nightmare, wondering where I should focus my energy while the world is on hold. Feelings of anxiety, compassion, empathy, and helplessness mixed with a pang of inspiration as words started swirling around in my mind, and then (this is a side note but I think its a cute dog detail in the story) my pup Ella made a loud "Owwwwww owww" howl in her sleep, like she too was having nightmares about the state of the world and was summoning me to take some kind of personal step to creating/making/doing... so I woke up, searched this domain to see if it was still active online (it wasn't so I reactivated it) and here we are...In this time of 'social distancing' and 'self quarantining' - two terms we didn't even know were a thing until very recently, and the Tournesol is back in action to offer community, a calming place to share your thoughts and stories, and connect.
Right now I find myself trying to balance staying informed with the news/checking in on my friends around the world over Instagram, with not getting caught in the news/anxiety cycle, and not wasting time on social media re-reading re-posted news articles and meme's (don't get me wrong I love a good meme but theres a limit to how many should be mentally consumed). So over the next couple days (what day is it today anyway?) I will be sharing articles, and resources of meaningful, entertaining, and creative ways we can embrace this strange time, and stay close emotionally as we take physical precautions.
Shout out to my Mom who is probably the only one reading this. On that note, what a novel concept this is...doing something for the sake of being creative as opposed to doing it with the hopes of garnering likes, follows, or monetizing it. I will be questioning and exploring the potential bright sides and meaning we as a society can find from this sad, scary, grim time... but maybe that is one of them - Art for arts sake (or society's sake). If exercising your creativity is something that you think might spark joy for you, I urge you to listen to that voice or howl in your head...and run with it!
Stay safe, healthy, and happy,