So let's talk about it —> why have we decided to stay open?
I have been internally grappling with this question and I've wanted my answer to be beyond an individualist survivalist mentality. My answer has to be grounded in the reality of what is happening, yet in tune with the values we have touted these past five years. So why do I (Melissa) believe it is important for us (Brewpoint) to remain open for our community?
I think it is because I believe that this is the new normal. At least for a while. I hope I'm wrong. But I don't think this new way of being is going to change back any time soon.
I don't know how else to cope with this other than to grieve, adapt, and persevere.
Grieve because our relationships, our careers, our plans are now forever changed. Grieve because saying "hi" to my nieces through face-time or through a window isn't the same. Grieve because my new reality includes worrying about my parents every day. Grieve because the spaces we opened with the vision to be an "authentic community space for all" have now locked their doors. There is real grief with these changes, and there needs to be time to mourn that loss.
But at some point, we need to adapt. The world as it was before wasn't perfect. The new rules of this reality are definitely different. So how do we rebuild a world that can adapt to these nuances? We need to build businesses and structures that are as safe as possible, while fulfilling the needs of our communities. We rebuild. We make new plans. Knowing that they can and will get knocked down again.
The artwork on the wall outside Founders was done in chalk. We did this knowing that when it rains (like today) we would have to redo it again. It's an apt metaphor for how we're feeling right now. We re-create knowing that things are going to change again, but we keep going.
We persevere because at some point, things won't be like this anymore. We persevere because the next generations needs us to, and because we all need each other to keep going. The hope is that, if we keep going, we can build something better than what was before. So when you come to Brewpoint and you see these wings on our wall. It's there because as much as you need us to persevere, we need you to as well. #elmhurststrong
Design by Jessy Woolsey
Image by Jony Tanase