WHEN this country was feeling the brunt of the covid19 pandemic with lockdowns and public health restrictions, Tami Jardine spent many days in silence and solitude. It is therefore not surprising that this is the name of his first book.
Jardine, 40, is a teacher and artist. Newsday featured her in 2019 for her business Rock Some Love – she did paintings on rocks.
But her first love has always been writing.
“I am a true artist – a creative soul! proclaimed the Bayshore author. “Writing is my favorite art form.”
She said life was “really, really difficult” at the height of the pandemic, especially as she lives alone.
“I needed an outlet, because I was having a really hard time being alone and not knowing what was going to happen or what was going on.
“So I started writing privately in my own journals, and that really helped me.”
Jardine shared some of her work with a close friend, who told her, “You gotta post this, you gotta share this, because a lot of people can relate.”
But Jardine is his worst critic.
She never had any formal training in art or writing.
“I always felt like my writing wasn’t good enough. But because of how much it helped me, it was no longer a question of whether it was good enough or not.”
On May 1, 2020, she took a bold step by creating the Barefoot and Ink Instagram page, where she began posting her writings.
“I didn’t tell anyone it was me – not even friends or anything…I didn’t use my real name.”
Although a friend had already let her know that many people would identify with her writing, the extent of the positive feedback she received was still surprising.
“It grew so much in a short time. It just kept growing. It felt so good. It wasn’t just about getting through the pandemic, but it became a healing journey for me.”
Jardine said people from all over the world have messaged her praising her work or asking for advice.
“And I always have to start by saying, ‘I’m not a psychologist, I’m just writing from my own experiences and how I’m coping these days. “”
As more and more pages followed, she thought of compiling her plays into a book.
“It was a thought since Christmas 2021, but it was never really (a) making (a decision).”
It was in April of this year that she began to “think about it and pray about it…
“And everything went perfectly.”
She wrote pieces specifically for the book that she says will never make it online.
They delve into his childhood and adult life and the experiences of each.
Jardine also managed to use her artistic skills here, designing the cover, which features flowers.
The book launched on September 20 and she said the feedback has been great.
“It felt so good, I can’t believe it.
“I read Mode Alive and had such great feedback from complete strangers. People bought the books.”
She also recently started using her real name on her Instagram page, which surprised those who know her — not the decision itself but rather her identity.
“So many friends, colleagues, parents (of students in my class) have been like, ‘Wait, Barefoot and Ink, is that you? I love your work!”
That, Jardine said, was incredible, because she spent so many years thinking that writing was just a hobby and nothing more to her.
“But maybe that’s what I’m supposed to do. It just feels right.
“I got to know myself better, I listen to my thoughts, I silenced the world around me and I just listened to what was going on inside me.
“I feel so blessed.”
She said it was amazing knowing she was making a difference in people’s lives by doing something she loves.
“A lot of people send me messages saying they’re in the same boat as me and they don’t want to share their writing because they think it’s not good enough. So I can encourage them.
“It took courage, but I did it! I did this.
The book costs $120 and is available on Amazon and at Little Trini Market in Maraval.
She also does deliveries of the book and can be contacted via Facebook or Instagram on the Barefoot and Ink account.