Weekly Musings - Duck Not Relevant
Copied and pasted from my weekly musings on Facebook - amended for anonymity.
Week Four - “Where the Spirit Meets the Bone”
Warning: not as upbeat as previous weeks.
“I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.”
~ Pablo (Pau) Casals ~
So it continues…
A further three weeks of sameness tickled by uncertainty.
I don’t suppose any of us truly thought there was a chance that things would suddenly change and we could spring back into our old lives.
It’s still unsettling though.
Whether standing still as the planet spins, or thrown into a vortex of unfamiliarity, none of our lives are the same as before.
One day slips gently into the next, minutes and hours pass; we have all the time in the world it seems.
The rhythm of daily life in a pandemic has been adopted.
We’ve adapted and accepted the new rulebook.
We pass each other with a smile, careful to leave the broomstick distance.
Instead of “cheerio” or “see you later”, we offer “stay safe”.
We think twice about picking the parcel off the doorstep immediately.
We resist saying hello to the friendly dog in the woods that bounds over with eyes expecting.
We look forward to Thursday evenings as a way of expressing our thanks but also as an excuse to stand, “kirby distance” apart, and have a chat with our neighbours without having to type our conversation with “mum fingers”.
It's not entirely unexpected for a didgeridoo to appear during the 8pm applause.
We live totally different lives to 30 days ago.
In the midst of the boredom, the fear, the anxiety, and the frustration, neighbours add cheese to their shopping list and try, in vain, to add flour for next door, or two doors down…
A visit to stand in the queue - six feet apart, two people inside at a time - to the pharmacy means collecting prescriptions for others too.
Gifts are left on doorsteps; a thank you for keeping us all safe, for maintaining some degree of normality in the madness, for adding to the shopping list.
Adults delight in drawing and colouring to leave notes of thanks for posties and binmen.
We decorate our windows with rainbows.
We now know our neighbours’ names.
We now know neighbours we didn’t know existed.
We plan meals, and when we will leave the house, and think about our neighbour’s shopping list too.
We’re really very lucky where we are.
We have cosy homes and full (for the 20 minutes after the shopping arrives) fridges.
We have enough space to spread out into different rooms if things become tense.
We have spacious gardens to practice our footballing skills with our children.
We look over an amazing view every day and know that we can access open spaces from our front doors.
We have neighbours on Whatsapp who will help us source our middle-class arborio rice.
Or Crabbies Ginger Wine...
We transfer payment for shopping via BACS.
We have gin!
When I walk, I think…
I aim to walk 1000 miles this year.
I have walked 71 miles in April.
I have walked over 400 miles in 2020.
That’s a lot of thinking.
I think a lot about those who are living very different lives.
I read this article during the week and have read it again since.
A lot of people are going to come out of this a lot worse off than most of us.
Will the camaraderie and kindness extend into the post-pandemic future?
I hope so.
I like to think of ripples of kindness and compassion spreading.
Will those ripples spread to those who hold the purse-strings and make policies; those who have allowed health and social care to fall on their knees?
I doubt it.
I do hope that we can be a more compassionate society.
I don’t have any photos from this week to reflect “Compassion”.
I do have a poem though.
~ Miller Williams ~
Have compassion for everyone you meet,
even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit,
bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign
of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen.
You do not know what wars are going on
down there where the spirit meets the bone.
And a wee sneaky quote from my favourite book:
"One time Atticus said you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them.”
We should be more Atticus!
(I still think I may be destined to become Mrs Dubose!)