I wanted to make producing “Your Neighbor Ari” my real job, which sounds almost as good as saying “I don’t have a job”. Being unemployed in the midst of the pandemic under this government’s administration is like being in a deep well of despair. But it also means that I have a lot of time to do the simple and wonderful thing known as “taking a walk”.

Just walk, walking around, keep walking to fend off bad thoughts. I walk as far as I want to go for that day. And it becomes a ritual that helps me through the sandstorm of the sad news, that is going on in the world every day.

Of course, I mask up, hand gel, no touching things, not being in a crowded space. I have a new friend who walks with me that, to this day, I still haven’t seen the other half of his face.

I start recognizing people; they’re probably doing the same. I see businesses setting up and shutting down. A house being torn down and an apartment being built, while the sky changes colors. It’s good to feel like you are there. It’s actually quite a soothing, calming experience to just be right there in the moment.

But, who would have time to be able to take a walk late afternoon on the weekdays, right? Dear neighbor, we may not be living along the canals in Amsterdam, but being able to walk somewhere IS a privilege. I learned this after interviewing several security people whose job is to sit in one place for 12 hours a day 7 days a week. They told me, it ain’t fun.

That’s why parks must be open. Mental health.

So if you can walk, please do, take that time to explore your neighborhood, become part of where you are. And get recharged. Wear your masks, wash your hands, and keep a little distance from people. But don’t let Covid keep you confined in a room.


Photography @falsedigital

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