WFH Companions

Lotte Lenya in Mother Courage

WFH is lonely and can be melancholy.

Hanging possessions in your home workspace that project a narrative that has meaning for you will tangibly boost your confidence, help you to apply yourself to the task, and feel successful on the gloomiest of days. I am confining myself to images of people because I want to be swaddled by my role models. My pictures span different art forms. It’s not by design but does reflect my passions.

WFH companions don’t have to be treasures or expensive works of art. Mine have been scavenged or are career souvenirs. My gallery is growing now that I’m aware of what these pictures do for me. I’m more likely to spot them amongst my books (shop your shelves) or in thrift stores. 

I’ve never thought of these images as a gallery of personalities until the pandemic when I really started noticing my environment. They had been stashed in different places. I’ve since brought them together and grouped them in front and to the sides of my desk.

 Lotte Lenya, Brecht’s wife in Mother Courage pushes me on. It’s the bold, forward movement, the defiance, the marching and the evocative sepia. I found a book of Brecht pictures in a secondhand store in Berlin in 2007. At some point I left the book behind, and it would have been tragic if I hadn’t cut out this page. 

These pictures represent memories, ideals, and aspirations. I love ballet and always have, and The Red Shoes with Moira Shearer, who’s also a great actress has accompanied me since I got the poster in Dallas. 

I haven’t been lucky enough to be wowed by Judi Dench on stage, but working for so long in audio drama, I find her voice electric and can hear it as I look at this poster of a play that I’ve never seen.

Randy Newman, I interviewed in his L.A. house while he was at his piano. It was a career high. I took along a book of his songs that he wittily signed and recently a friend encouraged me to tear off the cover.

The Alexei Sayle poster is from the Edinburgh Festival when he was making his standup comeback. He’s looking at me.

All these pictures add drama and lift me up as I open the computer in a cold room. The pictorial mentors seem to be hard at work. They are not chastising me for procrastination. They encourage me to get a move on.