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A letter from Tinamarie

Every day I look out my window onto a rooftop park 11 stories below.  In that park is a particular tree that seems to have become my silent friend.  She quietly tells me of the passing of time from winter into spring. Her bare brown branches day by day changing from the dark sleep of winter to the soft crown of springtime blossoms. I see her standing like a sentinel in the park waiting for the people to come back out and play and sit and run in her shadow.  She patiently shelters the birds while they sing from morning until well into the night. Every day my tree does what she is meant to do, she grows and breaths and stands, through the cheering of the people every night as they yell and bang out their windows at 7pm, thanking the city workers, doctors, nurses, EMT’s, drug store clerks, grocery store employees, concierges, porters, maintenance people, construction workers, mail carriers and all the people keeping our society alive while we stick together by staying inside, through the sounds of the sirens blaring in  the streets, reflecting the flashing lights as the ambulances stop in front of building after building on the block, through it all she stands and waits. The past weeks have been filled with counting our blessings and counting our money as we try to explain to our beautiful children that we will all be okay. We are fighting an unseen enemy that sneaks through the day and night revealing itself only through the destruction it causes. That destruction has mainifested itself in so many ways affecting so many people from gettig sick, to the fear and reality of loved ones getting sick, to loss of jobs and money and the fear of what is coming next. We may be physically apart but we are all in this together. 

These past weeks have been a challenge. It seemed as if our lives have been turned upside down overnight.  In the topsy turvy stillness of my living room, I have been able to stay in touch with my friends, students and family through the all powerful and sometimes spotty internet.  I am grateful for Erynn’s foresight and preparations that are keeping our classes going through this pause. I have never been more proud to be a homeschooler or more proud and grateful for our Different Directions family.  I miss the daily hustle and bustle of our studio, the class projects, impromptu coffee breaks and lunch time madness that is the spirit and soul of our community. I can’t wait to hear students laughing and arguing and growing into who they are meant to be while we grown up types discuss how to get our children to sleep, eat, do homework and negotiate as a family, all the ups and downs of growing into an adult.  

Being inside has not meant being on break. The students have been doing great work connecting with their teachers and with each other.  They have kept up their homework and classes, done play readings, made music, gathered for netflix movie nights, video chats, online gaming and socializing. The Acting Out students have decided to make their spring production an epsodic radio play. Our generous, dedicated teachers have been working over time adjusting their classes to be as quality online as they are in person. Erynn has been working tirelessly keeping us all connected. Thanks to Ash who has spent the past weeks building us a new website we will have a brand new beautiful vehicle to present our jump into online learning.  The move online hasn’t been all bad. This necessary experiment has helped us move DD into the future. When we go back to the studio we will offer classes that can be taught in person and online, as well as just online classes and in person classes. The darkness defines the light. In this case this time has helped us grow to meet the future needs of our friends and families. 

I enjoy being with Elie and Lottie, like so many families we play a lot of games, a lot of music and eat a lot of meals together.  We have also had a few melt downs, and good cries along with side splitting laughter and life altering talks cuddled on the couch. I look forward to our Friday zoom parties and video coffee breaks with my friends.  It is not the same as getting giant hugs and hellos as we get ready for classes in the morning, or catching a minute or 30 tucked in the corner, chatting with a friend over a glass of wine, cup of coffee or cup of tea. However I am grateful my friends are as close as phone call or video chat away. Before I go I want to say thank you to all the people who were able to stick with us during this time and to all the people who sent encouraging emails, calls and generous offers of support.  I cannot tell you how important you all are to me. Until we can be together again I will meet you in cyberspace.

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