After I had a chance to listen to Theoren Fleury when he visited Estevan, to participate in Envision’s silver anniversary, I borrowed his book from our editor. It’s a real paper book. A good book, too. But… It’s been almost a year, do you think I’ve finished it? Not a chance. Life is always so busy, right?
How many times a day do we hear “time flies” or “I can’t believe it’s spring already” or “I’ll do it when I have time.” Well, here is our break. I wouldn’t say that it’s exactly what we asked for, but I feel that most of us actually needed it.
And even though many things such as my work or our family farming are still business as usual, I already started seeing the first changes brought into my life by the pandemic that froze half of the world. First, I’m halfway through the book and plan to finish it by the end of this week. Second, my husband fixed the water pump in the house that has been malfunctioning for a good year. Third, to keep myself busy and to keep my mind away from trying to imagine how the world will look like, instead of writing long to-do lists, I actually started doing some things right away. And finally, as weird as it is, I actually started exploring the world and also widening my knowledge and worldviews.
The past weekend I paused for a moment and looked at those small changes in my life and realized that I’m actually having great, adventurous and insanely unique times.
I read somewhere that reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are. Loved it, but I feel nowadays it's much wider. In today’s world, even though blurring country borders all of a sudden reappeared, the virtual reality offers us a universe where even the sky is not the limit (you can explore the planet from a satellite and spot some amazing details not too many people know about). With contemporary possibilities, we can be almost anywhere we want and do so many things, too.
And that world just became even more accessible with many organizations offering new services or waving their fees for now.
So while all cultural public events in Estevan and in most other places were cancelled, I spent some time last weekend exploring the list of things we now can do online. And I couldn’t believe the opportunities. You can tour the greatest world museums or watch Metropolitan Opera performances live, explore the space through NASA’s video gallery and get inspired by the best ballets. The list goes on and on. And all that is free of charge.
And when I almost had a cultural stroke, for a change I switched to TED Talks. It’s a time-worthy educational and also recreational activity suitable for most ages. If you’ve never seen TEDs, I highly recommend looking them up online. It’s brief, clear and usually inspirational or eye-opening talks by professionals of all spheres.
And while I had some personal time, most of the weekend I actually spent at the farm. There were no people around, just little calves. And after good six hours of working outside and enjoying the warm spring sun, I felt like I was born again. I was really tired physically, but with everything I did this weekend, I was refreshed mentally and emotionally. I felt like those canals in Venice that cleared up for the first time in years with no boat traffic (another fascinating thing to do is check out how the world started regenerating in the absence of people).
Yes, the near future will bring a lot of changes and uncertainty. While we can change some things, such as following hygiene recommendations, staying home or keeping a distance from others when we have to go out, a lot of things now are out of our control. So why not take this amazing opportunity, unprecedented break and have an unforgettable time with the loved-ones or just with yourself, learning, exploring and enjoying?
Some of the great online opportunities I was exploring this weekend (list courtesy to online collective mind):
- TED Talks: https://www.ted.com/talks
- Tour Hermitage: https://bit.ly/33nCpQg (switch to English in the top right corner)
- Metropolitan Opera announced free HD Live streams starting this week: https://bit.ly/2TTSr1f
- Vienna Opera has free online streams during the quarantine https://bit.ly/39OINlQ
- Google’s project Art and Culture: https://artsandculture.google.com/
- Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam: https://bit.ly/2TRdiSQ
- Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien: https://bit.ly/3d08Zfm
- Digital archives of Uffizi: https://www.uffizi.it/en/pages/digital-archives
- Louvre in Paris: https://bit.ly/2WciGBi, https://www.louvre.fr/en/media-en-ligne
- The British museum: https://www.britishmuseum.org, and video tours: https://www.youtube.com/user/britishmuseum
- Museo del Prado: https://www.museodelprado.es
- Museums of Vatican: http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html
- Met Museum, New-York: https://www.metmuseum.org
- Guggenheim Museum, New-York: https://www.guggenheim.org/collection-online
- Salvador Dali Museum, Italy: https://bit.ly/33iHVmX
- NASA video gallery: https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html
- Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum, education, and research complex: https://www.si.edu/exhibitions/online