Sunday 29th March 2020 @ 10:49 am
“Maybe you can take your dad and me out for a drive?”
“Sorry mum, I don’t think you’re paying attention to what’s happening around the place right now – you know I’m not meant to do that? None of us are really meant to go out.”
“But I want to go out.”
“I know. But we really are not meant to. Why do you really want to?”
“Because they tell me I can’t.”
I cannot imagine the multiple ways the above conversation, which happened in my parent’s kitchen, is being multiplied around this island and beyond in these strange days.
Disruption is a powerful force.
I am certain there are adults who have been living together for decades who have been forced at times to hide somewhere within their own home, away from everyone else.
I am pretty sure there are teenagers who have not left their room for months finding themselves in a game of Deal or No Deal at the kitchen table.
I would imagine the forming processes are over,
the storming processes are lurking around the edges,
and with them, fresh angst and fidgetiness are bubbling below the surface.
I would guess many relationships are in the process of turning new ground, learning new depths and discovering new corners.
And would be sure some relationships are in the process of being saved.
These are turbulent days.
A virus has been fighting for survival – it’s biological imperative – and it is winning. In doing so it has gone from one recorded case in an eastern region of China three months ago (today) to being present in 170 countries (note, there are only 195 countries in the entire world). This is a wildfire phenomenon the likes of which my generation has never seen. Biologically, you have to admire it. It is incredible.
Even the community elders who lived through the war are saying they have never experienced anything like this.
These are truly momentous and Age–Defining times.
As usual, I have some suggestions.
That’s not surprising, everyone, absolutely everyone, has suggestions. Suggestions on who to blame (Dear Mr President, this is NOT the CHINA VIRUS), suggestions on what exactly we need to do and why, suggestions on who are most at risk and why, suggestions on what measures will keep us safe, suggestions on what food substitutes will keep us alive, suggestions on what books to read / boxsets to binge / crafts to complete / courses to cover. Everyone is giving instruction and/or offering advice, and the information bombardment is almost saturating.
It’s not over yet.
I am going to write some more.
But for now, to keep things bite sized and palatable,
my one suggestion is this.
Before reaching for all the solutions and the after–planning, take some moments to dwell in the absolute epoch–making realities of these days. Nothing like this has happened in the life–time of any generation alive in my family.
Don’t rush quick to dismiss and dissolve these days – you’ll not get them again.
For some people these days will contain a rupture of unimagined pain as loved ones are torn from them without the dignity of having their hand held as they travel through the veil.
Yet for others these days will be a chance to catch their breath.
For others it is all about twenty hours work a day in a lab, testing mice and getting results at a pace never accomplished before.
Yet for others it will be choosing an online philosophy course they have always wanted to complete but never had the time.
For others it will be twelve days straight with three children under ten, the realities of which there is as yet no medal for, but there should be.
For others it will be a rest.
For others it will be no–one knocking on the door for ten days, no–one calling on the phone.
For others it will Dj’ing at the same time every day on FB Live for a wider and wider audience.
For all of us,
it is a test of our humanity.
The best of us, and the worst of us, will all get an entrance.
And we will all play many roles.
This is a new circumstance.
Take a moment and allow yourself to be in it.
It will pass.
It will end.
And if you are aiming to walk out of this a different human, you should take a moment to look around you and notice what you are rambling through.
Yes, I took mum and dad for a drive.
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