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Distant Stories: Day 9 & 10


This is dedicated to my doorman of many years, Manny, Manual, Resto who passed away on Monday March 23rd, from an illness NOT related to COVD-19.

MANNY MY DOORMAN

Dipping toes in and out of different realities today. While the President, and a few billionaires, talk about loosening current labor restrictions that are not tight enough to stem the infection, Distant Story became less about documenting the abrupt, ‘this is bananas’ symbolisms, and more about an inquiry into how I was doing. I look inward like a pilot on a multi-city flight, meeting my thoughts in the different parts of my life–family, goals, friends, work, love, and health–in no particular order. If you’ve seen any of my paintings (I also paint), you can see that process visualized.

Trader Joe

Today was a day to make decisions with a pandemic looming outside of my doorstep: what are your priorities for the next six months and how do you want to show up every day in meeting them? Which virtual Passover kit should I get? That’s a part of this new normal. So here is my voyage on Distant Stories Day 9 + 10. 

#1 The family space

Reach out when you need, as often as you need.
My mother’s smile on video is like seeing the Mona Lisa for the first time over and over again. My dad and I are very telepathic, so little jokes only we understand give me so much energy. My brother cracked one of those so funny you cry jokes. We're still troubleshooting how to get Zoom working for my aunt in Florida. It'll happen. We got GenZ on it.  To everyone in Baltimore, McLean, Israel, France, Australia–I see you and feel your presence deeply, every day.

 

#2 The hope and dream space

My pre-pandemic goals remain unchanged. This quarantined life has gifted me with a moment to see my life, with only me, mine–my very own eyes, looking, without judgment. Readers who have children and not the luxury of quiet, what I describe is a feeling of full circle. All the pieces of your life mashed up in one space at one time. It’s so ‘whoa.’ Forget woke, it’s ‘woah.’ From a gentle place, you can hear and bring to life the longings in your soul. At first, slowly, at which point you find the groove, then you get to the surrendered space where you are no longer in control, but in flow.

 

Hope and dream space

 

#3 The work space

Come to the workspace with love.  Charles Eames said, “If you free yourself from the idea “I am going to design a new and novel glass,” then you have a chance. If you say in your mind, “I want this vessel to bring this liquid in the best possible way.”

With a new agency launched in January, there are brands I work with that need to connect to audiences in ways unimagined under circumstances unimagined. Being creative and strategic requires a relaxed mind. You cannot create with a tense mind, so, I channel Eames and come to the workspace with a love and desire to use my skills to make a difference, one brand at a time. And you can do that while listening to Beethoven’s String Quartet No.13, in B Flat Major, Op. 130–a new genre I am going to revisit. Classical music was the punk of its time and Beethoven was David Byrne.

My deskspace

#4 The friend space 

Be a force of positivity. And when you can’t, go for a run. Everyone has different coping mechanisms. Some people connect, while others may need space. Connecting, or rather catalyzing is how I cope. It’s what I’m good at. One of my first jobs in college was working at a club as one of those people no one around you knew, including you, but got everyone in your crowd to dance. Thanks to my friends for checking in to make sure I haven’t licked the ATM machine. Thank you for the dance parties and the live cooking sessions. And the good nights. We got this like Rudy.



#5 The health space 

Get strong. Stay strong. This is going to sound extremely prescriptive and robotic, but I am unapologetic about how I feel about this. This is a time to get strong. This virus has some trends, but this is a new virus and we have NO idea how it will behave, if it will morph again. What we can do is get stronger. I’m running or doing yoga at least once a day. Taking a few things to support my lungs in case I get the virus–Oregano oil, Bromelain, and NAC. And sleep. Sleep is the most important part of immunity. My friend made a sleep app and I'm using it. It works.

Female , Alona Elkayam, runs in an n95 mask Covid-19

Tomorrow, I will get to the love space and the home space. In the meantime, good night friends. One more thing, save-the-date for June 2, 2020. I did not have a birthday party in 2019, so I want to throw an outdoor beach dance party marathon and raise money for your favorite charity.



PS If you are a creative or marketer on the front lines of the creative process, I have organized a group of passionate pirates to join me in moving our industry forward in how we work and how we work with brands–deepening our craft while also streamlining processes for the benefit of the end-user brand experience. Sign up here for our first conversation this Friday, March 27 1-2pm. I am going to limit the first call to a smaller group, so sign up fast. If this one fills up, we will include you for future. 

We are far from timid. We got this like Rudy. 

Alona