High Hopes

On 4/20 weekend, photographer (and Volume Four contributor) Leeor Wild went around to people's windows in Toronto to (safely!) deliver some care packages with Superette (you can read our Conversation with co-founder Mimi Lam here). She also took the opportunity to shoot members of the community celebrating the day by smoking a joint out their windows.

“I thought of the idea as a sweet moment of unity during a time where we are so separate in so many ways,” Leeor says, “and a way to show that togetherness while encouraging people to continue to stay home.”

In choosing the people involved, Leeor and Superette wanted to focus on small business owners, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, and others in the creative community.

“I thought a lot about what kinds of images people want to see during these times,” Leeor says. “With so many images being either completely news-focused and alarming or very at-home-iPhone-selfie vibes, I felt it would be nice to bring back quality images that inspire a sense of joy and some normalcy.”

After receiving these photos from Leeor, we reached out to the different subjects to ask them a few questions about how they're holding up, what they're missing, and what they're looking forward to.

“I think that the silent hero of stoned quarantine activities is stretching. That’s my favorite stoned activity right now. Not like yoga, not meditation, just stretching. Every time I’m stoned and I start stretching, I’m like I don’t think there’s any other way to stretch. I’ve realized being stoned is the only way to stretch.” - Kyle, founder ofBather

“I’ve been painting and playing with clay a lot, which is really fun! I have a fine arts background and it's been nice to go back to that and play and not take things so seriously. That’s been something I probably wouldn’t have some otherwise. I’ve been making little vases with rocks stuck in them, and incense holders which I’ve been giving to friends. Giving people gifts that I’ve made has been another nice way to connect.” – Bonita, graphic designer at Public Office

“I’m an introvert already, so it’s not a tremendous change for me on my day to day. I spend a lot of time by myself and at home and I love alone time. I definitely see everyone struggling and on a lot of Zoom calls, spending time with friends and family through Facebook Portal or some of these other great technologies that are available to us. But for me, I’m really just kind of on my same level of introvertedness. I’ve been sending memes that I think people will laugh at or that relate to an inside joke, or tagging them in something. That definitely has been how I’ve been keeping in contact with people, just through bleak, super sarcastic memes. ‘I miss you and I want to talk to you, but I don’t really want to engage in a text conversation or pick up the phone, so I’m just going to send you this meme.’” - Steph, Creative Director at Ecobee

“I’m quite spiritual. I enjoy practicing reiki quite a bit. So I would say the silver lining is that this has been a wonderful time for me to connect to myself in a more profound way. Getting more into my meditations. We live in this society where we say, ‘Let’s do that next week’ or ‘Let’s do that at some point’ and we never actually end up doing it. It’s been wonderful to reconnect with people and to slow down and actually have meaningful conversations.” - Derek, barre and pilates instructor

“I’m a pretty positive person, so for me, I feel really lucky and grateful in this situation. So many people have it much harder than me right now, so I have the opportunity to think about it on a much bigger scale. My silver lining is the thought that humanity and the universe is in this massive shift and that this hardship, this challenging time, and this dark time for many is really only temporary, this is the hard part before we get to the other side, which is much brighter, much lighter for everyone. It’s so easy to think of the surface level stuff, the economy, jobs, health (of course), but on the macro level, changes are being forced to be put in place for a bigger purpose, which is improving the overall way we do things.” - Louise, freelance producer/health and wellness brand ambassador

“Because I tour a lot, and especially as everyone’s getting older, it’s so important to me to spend as much time with my family as I can when I’m here. So it feels very absurd for me to be home for a long period of time and have to distance myself from people my parents' age. It’s this weird, mega, huge tease to be able to kinda see my parents, but not see them. And even when I do see them, there’s this massive amount of guilt and fear of getting too close because who knows! That’s been really hard for me: being home and not being able to do all the things so precious to me when I’m home. Also, I’m really not good at chilling. I don’t really like to go slow. It’s hard for me to accept that today I’m not going to do that much and that’s okay. That’s really not a part of my lifestyle, so I'm constantly trying to forgive myself for taking an easy day.” - Ralph, singer/songwriter

“My favorite thing to do is watch documentaries. Everything just hits differently when you're a little high and you're watching something educational. Your brain just takes everything in. It’s amazing. Explained, on Netflix is so fascinating, it explains the randomest things you would never think of and goes really detailed into it. There was one explaining why we use punctuation in sentences, and I just thought, ‘This is so fascinating!’ And the other thing I’ve been doing in quarantine is painting on old pairs of pants and just making them a little cuter. I’m not the best painter, but it’s been very therapeutic to do that and try to transform old clothes.” - Mina, model/actor/activist

“Even if I don’t use it for anything in particular, but just having more time for myself. I feel weirdly more connected to everyone because of that. I have a group of friends who all live in different time zones and we have this one-hour period where we’re all awake. Before this, we would just never be online together and be able to chat, but now we’ve been talking way more, so that’s been really nice. I think it has really put it into perspective how much this situation has changed our communication, and we’ll definitely continue to make the effort after COVID-19.” - Mays, web developer

“My favorite stoned activity, whether in quarantine or not, is indulgence. I’m a very romantic person, so listening to records, relaxing, cooking, watching a good film—anything that incompasses the senses. Having some time before bed, relaxing, being still, and meditating is ideal. My favorite record of all time is Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder. Stoned or not, it’s a religion to me. I really consider it my bible when I’m feeling any sort of way, so that’s my favorite record. Period.” - Midori, owner of AIYÊ

“My partner and I recently started fostering a puppy, so that’s been quite a big lifestyle change. I forget that dogs really do connect you to your neighbors. You find yourself walking past the same people every day and not striking up conversation, but suddenly you have a dog and everyone wants to stop and chat. I know my neighbors mostly via their dog’s names now, but it’s really nice to just have that connection and sense of community. It’s been a wonderful way to get to know my neighbors in a time where it’s feeling a little bit lonely. And the dog parks are opening up today! So more of that to come.” - Dani, co-founder of Design of Brand

“I have this side project called Scruncheroo, which are these microfiber scrunchies you can use to clean your glasses and your phone. It's been nice to have some time to work on that. The bigger silver lining, though, has been watching how my boyfriend Leo responded to the pandemic. He owns and runs this incredible fresh pasta shop and restaurant in Toronto called Famigiia Baldassarre. He's worked his ass off to pivot the business quickly and keep his staff employed by turning the shop into a safe place to get food. He also raised a bunch of money and prepared a ton of meals for frontline workers. I always knew he was a great guy but it’s been really touching to see where his values are.” - Sarah, co-founder of Design of Brand

“I’ve really been enjoying edibles lately. A mix of THC and CBD pills that are taking away some anxiety and allowing me to be relaxed and present during this strange wild time. I’ve been getting stoned and cooking meals I never had the time to make before, and watching a lotof amazing shows that have come out recently. Some of my faves include Better Things, Work in Progress, Insecure, High Fidelity, and Nora from Queens, to name a few. All great stoner shows! Also reading stoned has been lovely and relaxing during this pandemic.” - Zai, owner of Ease and Easy Tiger

“I miss hugging my friends and family the most. It’s super instinctual to want to hug my parents, sister, or new baby niece. As a hugger, it’s weird to not be able to show affection in this way, so I’m really looking forward to giving long and big bear hugs.” - Tonya, founder and CEO ofRainbo

All subjects photographed by Leeor Wild and Superette in their homes or homes of loved ones.