Whatever our thoughts on this lockdown business – and we know there are as many opinions on this as there are ears of wheat in a field, one thing is clear – it’s a game changer.
Gone are the times when we could back away from ourselves by being ‘busy’, shopping, mindlessly watching TV, knee-jerk judging on social media & the myriad little ways we found to avoid the gaping hole in our sense of self. Masters at this – we’ve practised it for ever & wonder why the emptiness was still there, after that luxury holiday, new car, kitchen extension & other make-over jobs. In the early hours of the morning, we’d become aware of the abyss…& toss and turn to get away from it.
Now we’re stuck with ourselves in lockdown & are finding creative new ways of expression, as well as finishing those diy jobs. Many are learning new things – playing an instrument, creative writing, cooking, learning a language etc. The garden has never looked better, nor our skin, honey-toned from all that sun. But they are still distractions.
Before, we wouldn’t go within, to ourselves, to see the warts, holes, frayed edges, shadow-self hovering, ready to pounce, lest we drop our guard – not with our ‘busyness’. Now, our sense of ‘freedom’ and security have been violated, filling us with varying amounts of fear & existential angst, wondering what will happen next.
Here is Divine Invitation: this is bringing us to ourselves. We now ponder what our lives have been all about, the stuff which ‘mattered’ then, which doesn’t now, people who (we thought) mattered then, who don’t anymore. We’re sorting the wheat from the chaff. We’re looking at ourselves, at last, getting a sense of who we really are, both individually & globally, at last seeing through the illusion – some of us more than others, granted, but it’s an unstoppable tide.
All heady stuff we are dealing with, then, whilst trying to navigate the minefield of information & lies out there.
And when you can’t navigate even your own minefield – we all have those days:
• Pick up your pets, hold them close, smell their head. Feel their warmth & pleasure.
• Go out & look up at the stars, savouring the silence & grandeur of that vast black vault above us…and wonder.
• Talk to a friend who understands you. Let rip & laugh with them.
• Watch a ‘stupid’ film, comedy show – anything which makes you laugh, do it alone, so you can re-wind the funny bits, without censure.
• Sit on a wall – garden, park (I dare you) swing your legs like you used to, & just watch things go by – birds, dogs on leashes, people (on leashes!) clouds, unleashed, free.
• Snuggle under the duvet; hold it close to your body, feeling the warmth & comfort – knowing you don’t have to abandon it for work…go foetal.
• Get the knitting out – feel the creative weave between your fingers, watch as the rows grow…knit, purl, and observe your mind empty itself.
• Bake your favourite cake – get your fingers messy, picking, trimming, kneading… licking the mixture at the end. If its out of a packet, go lick them digits anyway! Revel in the smell of baking.
Scoff your creation. With abandon.
• Run the most decadent bath this side of Cleopatran rule. Chuck whatever you like in ….foam it like the Himalayas, dive in.
You know what to do. Give yourself a holiday, now & then, from your navel-gazing. Find your Comfort & hug it close.