ISOLATION: AMANDA

We are missing our friends alot. Yes, we can video chat, but we're finding that it's not the same as physical proximity, as real intimacy. Turns out here is no replacing being close to the minutiae of each other's lives, the tiny details of someone else's world that are so rich.  Their cooking, the way they dress, laugh, their wacky facial expressions. I honestly even miss the stuff I thought bugged me.

Wishing to somehow approximate that closeness, looking to scratch that itch, we sent clothes to a few photographer friends and asked for snapshots of their time at home, in isolation. They're coming back, and it actually works! An impression of very real people, at home, where things are so normal, yet so not. Over the coming weeks we will be bringing you a series of these stories. Nothing epic, but rather some glimpses of the comforting familiar.

Amanda and I used to somehow be related, back when her sibling was married to my boyfriend's sibling. Is that related? We had Halloweens together and baked pies. We've since both departed dear Los Angeles, and she is living what looks like a total utopian agrarian dream in rural Georgia.  Check out that gothic southern light!

All photos: Amanda Greene

What did you do before the pandemic, and what do you do now?

I am a photographer. I work freelance and I have been trying to shoot a lot of personal work during this time.

If you feel comfortable discussing, what has been the biggest challenge about the pandemic for you?

Oh man. I guess just being scared about doing things - going anywhere -  and scared about the future. Fear can sort of make me feel like I am shut down and can’t do anything so I avoided all news and most social media for the first several weeks and then as time went by I got a little bit used to the facts of what is happening. It is hard not visiting my mom but on mothers day we did a family zoom call and since then we have been doing one every Sunday and sometimes we have a zoom meeting on Wednesday and eat lunch together. My mom, my sibling Page in LA, my husband and his 12 year old daughter will all be on the calls. It has been a fun way to connect with family, and something we never would have done otherwise.  

Any recommends of the moment - movies, songs, recipes, drug cocktails, stretches, breathing techniques?

So we subscribed to the Criterion Channel, an online streaming service from The Criterion Collection. We (my husband Jim and I) have seen lots of great films that for whatever reason had not been on our radar. My Life As a Dog, Wings of Desire, Breathless, Bonjour Tristesse, Gloria, Le quattro volte and The Tree of Wooden Clogs are a few that were great. We have been listening to Nina Simone At Carnegie Hall, Alice Coltrane (albums Radha-Krsna Nama Sankirtana, Transfiguration, Transcendence), I have just gotten obsessed with Perfume Genius, the new Run The Jewels (RTJ4) is great, Talk Talk the Colour of Spring is always good, Kate Bush Hounds of Love, and always Prince mixed in here and there. I don’t drink alcohol but we have been making iced tea every day and putting a little sugar and some mint from the garden in it and that has been a nice thing to have in the afternoon. After lunch we play a game of Yahtzee. We have a sort of wild and messy garden but have been able to pull some things from there to eat every day. Right now we have a bit of lettuce, beets, lots fo fresh herbs and some tomatoes that are sizing up but aren’t ready to eat yet. One thing we have been eating a lot of is just rice with some lentils cooked in with them. We started calling this “rintals” - I will put a bunch of herbs and garlic in the pot with some olive oil and heat that up then I add the uncooked rice and lentils at a 2:1 ration then add water and cook for 16 minutes. YUM. I grow flowers too so it has been nice having more time at home to watch the little developments in the garden day by day. We have a tiger lily that opened today, lots of cosmos, zinnia, dahlias about to bloom, rudbeckia, bachelor buttons and poppies. I live in rural Georgia and since the protests started nationwide there have actually been some in small towns and rural areas in my home state. This is inspiring to me that real change is possible, also lots of confederate monuments are coming down in a lot of places.

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