At home with Mon Barton.

“As a writer, you try to listen to what others aren’t saying and write about the silence”

- N.R.Hart

If art is subjective and creativity has no criteria then we each have an artist within us and I’ve finally found mine. I’ve accessed my own freedom within exploring as many mediums as I possibly can to express all that I can. Truth is, they’re not all ‘right’ for me, I enjoy some more than others. I’m a writer, a poet, a photographer, an expressionist, and a lover.

Alone isn’t lonely.

As national lockdown looms in the air piggybacking the dreaded, god-awful COVID-19, we find ourselves in a state of panic, distress, fear, and the most commonly spoken word this year: isolation.

10 days ago now, I woke with a horrible cold and my phone flooded with messages like “have you got ‘IT’!?” It’s been 10 days now since I’ve hugged since I’ve kissed since I’ve touched a human. 5 days ago I walked down the spiral staircase of loneliness and entered the rabbit hole of self-pity. Until I realised, what a beautiful experience this is for me to understand how much I don’t understand the true feeling of loneliness. How beautiful this experience is to reach into the deepest depths of empathy for those who live out most of their lives, truly lonely. No one to come home to, no family to talk to, no lover to love, to dog to pet, no workplace to feel safe, no friend to call. And so, just 10 days into isolation, I am not lonely, I am not alone, I am falling deeper into a state of gratitude and understanding than I ever have.

And for the record, I don’t have ‘it’.

What's the biggest daily battle you face during this time of self-isolation?

Human interaction, honestly. I’m a very affectionate person, I miss hugging. Other than that, I’m feeling pretty blessed to have a job that has always been remote, allowing me to work from home, cafes, bars, anywhere in the world really.

What do you do for work & for love - how has the current situation affected these aspects of your life?

I’m the Marketing Manager and Photographer for the brand Will & Bear. Like I said above I am SO grateful to be working for such an amazing small business who already allow me the freedom of working remotely so I haven’t felt any serious repercussions of COVID19 in terms of work. For love though, I shoot film. Portrait work is my thing, I could do that for free every day of my life if money wasn’t a currency. So yeah, I’m really missing being able to shoot, when I’m taking photos of humans, I always leave feeling SO full of inspiration and ideas. It’s quite an infectious energy.

What are you listening to whilst at home?

The playlist I made of all the songs I want to dance to with friends when COVID19 is over and we can all be in the same room together. I named it “when I get out of here”

What are you currently reading?

I haven’t actually begun reading it yet but the intention is there as it’s sitting on my bedside table. I picked up this beautiful copy of the bible in a black leather-bound cover with gold embellished ‘old testament’ across the front from the op shop. I’m not religious, but from a poetic sense, I’m am curious about religious scripture and style of writing. I think there is no harm in reading beliefs, stories and a language that isn’t part of your world. Just like readers of sci-fi or fantasy.

What are you watching in your down time moments?

Nothing. Well, that’s a lie, we watch our phones for hours every day right. Other than the classic insta scroll, I haven’t owned a TV for nearly 5 years and my Netflix account is verrrryyyy inactive. I usually spend my time reading, writing or cooking.

What is your current ritual (other than hand washing) whilst in isolation?

I’m honestly not a very habitual person, the only ritual I can think of that I truly stick to every day is having a shower, brushing my teeth, and applying my face oil with a Jade Gua Sha. BUT currently, I’ve found a new ritual within isolation… for at least an hour of every day, I sit down with my housemate to do a jigsaw puzzle that sits on our coffee table. Very therapeutic. Also, another reason I don’t have time to ‘watch’ things.