Isolation | Celeste Bolte
Friday 1 May 2020
Today I got lost, which to my delight, was a very pleasant experience. I wasn’t properly lost in a busy foreign market or a remote, rugged landscape; I was lost in Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington. Ridiculous, I know.
As I chatted to a friend on the phone, I realised I’d been on the same circular path for almost an hour, so corrected my direction only to end up on the same track. Again, I took another turn and found myself at the same junction. Eventually I found the ruined chapel and could orient myself home.
Usually when we can’t find our way we begin to feel a little worried or maybe some creeping nerves. However, these feelings have become so commonplace over the last month that I felt a lovely sense of calm and appreciation for having been able to forget them as I strolled through the trees.
Standing in the park, wondering which way to go, I registered that my approach to time has changed over the last few weeks. I’ve been spending more of it working from a desk, problem solving for our community, and supporting publishers as best possible.
I run architecture media platform, BowerBird, here in the UK, and we’ve become a very popular resource for both practices and publications in the last month. We’re very lucky to be busier than usual, as this is certainly not the norm for the majority of businesses right now.
As my conversations with architects, photographers, journalists and publishers move to video calls and texts, I’ve found that I miss the little personal interactions that happen on the periphery of meetings, like a cup of tea, or a chat about weekend plans. I’ve also noticed how much I used the time between meetings to think, digest, plan and administrate.
Community is the most important part of my work and something that I carry into my personal friendships too, so I knew this would be something I missed when lockdown began. But never did I think I’d miss the tube, or a bus; the walk from the spare room to the kettle isn’t quite long enough for new ideas and inspiration, but a lap of Abney Park seems to do the trick.
Celeste Bolte words and photos
The Architecture Club member