There is a saying (purportedly ancient Chinese but likely a 19th century British invention), that sounds like a blessing but is really a curse:
“May you live in interesting times.”
Well, life can’t get more “interesting” than this! And yet, it is so incredibly uninteresting at the same time. If only I had paid more attention to my philosophy professor.
Days stretch out, each one virtually the same as the one before. Hours slog by, and yet weeks fly.
So what to do? Listen to the scientists. Stay home. Wash your hands several times each day. “Happy Birthday to you. Happy Birthday to me….” Sing it two times and then your hands will be clean. So clean they are cracking. Stop touching your face. I had no idea how many times I touched my face until now! Be calm. Easier said than done. Be kind. Ah yes, that is hard to do as well, as people get anxious and impatient, saying and doing impulsive things and passing judgement on everyone. Including themselves. Including myself. Being kind to ourselves is the first step. How do I do that? I feel guilty when I walk around another person in a clear avoidance of metres. I feel badly that I won’t stop to say hi to you because I am afraid of who you visit and how many other people you work with. I hate myself for shrieking at little 4 year old friends running to hug my knees “No! Don’t touch me! Go back to your mother!” as I worry for them more than myself. But their faces! Confused and sad – oh, I feel wretched!
My sleeping is broken, my dreams are horrible, full of anxiety, frustration and chaos. the vilest of crimes is played out in different forms every night and I wake up red eyed and in jitters. And yet, miraculously I can sleep. I have decommissioned my alarm clock (what’s the point?) and find myself dragged out of a deep dopey doze an hour later than I used to wake.
So this is our current world, at once immense, with the entire population of the earth experiencing more or less the same thing that I am experiencing, and so small it consists of me and my husband alone behind our own closed doors. It’s a good time to reflect, and slow down. And write. A writer writes and I haven’t been doing much of that lately so maybe it’s time to follow that muse again. Maybe another glass of wine first.