Skip to Content

Student Blog: Sharon Genshaft

Sharon Genshaft looks intensely directly into a camera with a compass behind her.

Sharon (Luna) Genshaft is using the time during quarantine to find new ways of staying productive as an artist.


New York City can be crazy at times. There is so much noise around that it’s rarely possible to just be still. In the bigger picture, it is not a waste of time to slow yourself down, and is actually healthy for your well-being.

Back home in Israel, life’s tempo is slower and there is more space to wander, physically and mentally. I feel a lot of pressure being in New York City, alone and having to support myself. But now it’s suddenly quieter. I can hear the birds singing louder and I can listen to my heartbeat. Quarantine is not so bad! 

There is more time to appreciate the little things that I take for granted in my busy metropolitan life. It’s time I can use to take the weight off my shoulders for a little bit and let myself loose.

Sharon Genshaft stands in red pants next to her bike outside a NYC park gate with a purple budded tree behind her
Bicycling with no specific direction. (with mask and gloves of course!)

The older we get, the more responsibilities there are and the less time there is to “play”. I’m looking at this as an opportunity to learn new things, to reevaluate choices, and rethink plans. 

At this time I’m strongly reminded of words by Rainer Maria Rilke, who wrote in his letters to a young poet: “If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself…because for the creator there is no poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sound- wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attention to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance…go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to, the question of whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it. Perhaps you will discover that you are called to be an artist.”

And this was written before the internet! Now, the sources of inspiration and information are not only your memory and imagination. They are unlimited.

This time is valuable for artists. A lot of emotions are rising and there is a big shift of energy in the universe. Although sometimes it can leave us lacking purpose or motivation, It’s important to remind ourselves that this phase will pass and from this deep nothingness we can create so much.

Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory

There is a lot of fear around and I feel sorry for everyone who has been so negatively affected by what has happened. But for some people who are fortunate to just be staying at home, I suggest looking at it as a gift from the god of Time.

A plate of Borrocli, carrots, and other veggies with a fork next to it

I find myself cooking more, eating more healthy, I can practice yoga for an hour instead of the 15 minutes I used to squeeze in the morning. I can watch a movie every day. I can write more, I can paint more. This is a really great time to explore new forms of art.         Some days I wish my whole life was just like that, that I had all the time in the world to do what I like. Of course, it’s sort of an ignorant fantasy but there is such a beautiful simplicity to it. 

It can be hard to disconnect from social media and the barrage of daily news, but I feel much more peaceful when I focus on what physically in front of me. Instead of diving into social media I dive into myself. Sometimes just turning my phone off for the whole day will make me do things that will surprise myself. 

An empty new york city street during the 2020 pandemic

Filed Under: Student Blog