Notes On Love And Loneliness With Paulina Paige Ortega - Par Femme

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by Par Femme

Our Par Femme community is far and wide, but for those currently in Australia, many of us continue a life indoors thanks to state stay-at-home orders. While Australians have become well-versed in the language of lockdown, there's no denying it's still tough. The days feel long, the nights longer. A time to make all the single people of the world feel more alone, and for those in partnered relationships, navigate the sometimes messy space of supreme, unsolicited connectedness.

It's also been a time to practise patience and relish the slowness of it all. Romanticise the mundane and quotidian, percolate fresh ideas and feelings, meditate and marvel on the slow, soft joys that often go unnoticed.

This week we chat to co-founder and creative director of RecessPaulina Paige Ortega. A girl you'd like to be friends with, Paulina possesses that ineffable coolness that seems impossible to feign. But she also believes it's cool to be kind: an it-girl without the pretence and pageantry that so often shrouds itHer work is zingy and exuberant and leans heavily on nostalgia; basically an impeccably-curated repository of the good times.

Here, the creative with eyes like cups of hot espresso gets deep on the pleasures and perils of lockdown, and how she's negotiating feelings of love, loneliness, wrath and resentment in these isolated times.

What are you currently doing to while away the days in lockdown?
The first couple weeks of this second lockdown were a huge adjustment for me personally. My extroverted self had reacclimated to the outside world, and having to hunker back down was challenging. But I find myself settled into this state now, doing lots of long walks outdoors, meditation in my lounge room, enjoying the pleasure of my husband's company, and indulging in food.

How do you feel?
I vacillate between restlessness and peace. But mostly I just feel lucky to be healthy and well in these times.

What are your lockdown pleasures?
Last night I rewatched La Piscine and Alain Delon's face was a very pleasurable thing to experience.

Enjoying my own company, savouring every meal (and the process of cooking), carving out down time to gather thoughts and relish in beautiful films, music and writing I've put off for ages.

What are the perils of lockdown?
I miss hearing other people have conversations around me. I miss being a spectator. I miss the rush of delighting in chance experiences out in the world.

Mostly just miss all my family and friends outside of Sydney who I won't be able to see for a long time.

How do you remedy loneliness?
Make yourself your own pleasurable company. And if that fails, hit up FaceTime.

How do you find love / joy?
Time with my husband. Time with art. Time to travel in my own mind's eye.

But these days, I also find joy and love in the hope I feel about jumping back out into the world again when it's safe. x

Paulina Paige Ortega
Words: Chrisanthi Kaliviotis

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