Friday, 17 April 2020

Thought Picnic: Making a retreat of the lockdown


Opening up from a lockdown
You begin to realise that what you see and experience becomes a matter of perspective and how you decide to relate to it. Looking around my bijoux apartment, everything seems so ordinary and mundane that a lockdown can pile on you in claustrophobic and mentally debilitating ways.
The lull in activities around the world could suggest that the world is not necessarily moving along without you. There is no rat race to enter, no bandwagon to join, though the routine gainful employment offers can be a welcome distraction. I have worked from home many times and worked remotely too.
With that thought in mind, I wonder how co-working environments would have to be reconfigured for the post-pandemic era when social distancing becomes the norm rather than the exception. The earnings of that industry per square foot might suffer. They are suffering now.
Retreating to change
Anyway, at the suggestion of Elizabeth Gilbert, maybe I should see this time as one of a retreat, I do not have to hold vigil, pretend I am in rehab, create a kibbutz, become monastic, or visit an ashram. I just have to make a contentment of peace and relaxation around me without exerting myself to anything. I can read, I can watch, I can learn, yet not stress myself whilst finding myself. It is possible and I will not beat myself up about it either.
My friend who I have not seen in over a week used to come round to help around the house, especially from the time I fell ill in January. I did rise to get the rubbish out along with the recyclable things, it felt strange that I had not done it in a while.
Scrubbing to remember
Yesterday, I found the muscle to push a Brillo Pad around the electrical plates of my hob cooker, the collage of caked overspills from cooking from every shade of brown to black needed removal after my sister in the States could not ignore the state of my stove. Today, I got the leg of lamb that I bought on Tuesday out of the fridge and cooked it. The overspill will be seen to, as the stove cools down.
Amid all this, my lover and I constrained by many things work hard communicating our affection for each other in anticipation of this whole situation moving on and creating the opportunity for us to meet up again. It was exactly a year ago that we met up in Johannesburg for the second time and took a flight to Cape Town for an 18-day holiday together. Gosh! I miss my man.

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