Write a sentence, Ken, see where it leads you…
This Sunday morning, sitting here at my desk, the temptation to write nothing at all is considerable.
I mean, what should I write? Should I recall some happy event from times gone by? Should I tell a funny little story about something that happened during the week, preferably against myself? These are all options but it’s hard to find the focus or the motivation to do any of that.
Similarly, I suppose, I could attempt to write some grand diatribe about what we should all do and what we should all not do. How we should ‘be’ in this challenging moment. But, hey, what do I know? I read the advice and the news like everybody else and I’m trying to do my very best with it. Trying to do no harm to anyone else with my actions. But that’s the story of my life anyway. It’s what I always do, just heightened in every possible way. So, no, there’s no point in me telling you what to do and what not to do. You can read just like I can. Well, you’re here so I’m assuming that you can.
All I can type about is me.
To type about anyone else I know, or even to include them peripherally in this typing seems intrusive and poorly advised. We’ve all got our own stuff, it’s not for me to be hanging any of it out here to dry.
So, as ever, as always, all I have got to work with here is ‘me’.
So, what’s with me?
I’m okay. A bit worried about where we are and where we’re going. Making a lot of attempts at planning and thinking-forward and such, which is kind of counter-productive as the data available about what comes next is ever-evolving and hard to work with.
The four of us are all here, which is lovely. It feels reassuring too, to have us all under the one roof. We are lucky to live in a place where it is not difficult to respect the space between another person and where most things can be accessed without needing public transport. I don’t work in a big crowded office so, for now at least, I think I can slip from home to office desk without touching or troubling anyone else. The advice might change, of course, and I will change with it.
Everything’s a little bit ‘heightened’. The sunshine outside my window right now seems brighter and more spring-like. The birdsong seems louder. The anxieties are heightened too, as I am sure they are for most every other person. Am I doing the right things? Have I made some kind of a mistake somewhere? What will happen next?
I get the news every day, but I try to take time away from it too. A constant stream of repeating updates, particularly at this moment, tends to mess with my equilibrium a little. If I give myself too much of it, it gets to be like a ping pong ball bouncing around inside my brain pan. Even typing that, just now, has set the ricochet off again. Have I done this? Should I do that?
I need to stay out of people’s way whilst also trying to help as much as I can. I’m being nicer than nice, such that some people are looking at me funny. Who is this guy?
This could be a lovely time together here in the house, if we all avoid the virus or only get a lick of it, but it’s not that simple. What happens from here will inevitably be hard to watch and, obviously, even harder to be wrapped up in. The chart-curve, that I am told to aspire to, will doubtless play out. The big questions being how steep the curve will continue on before it declines and whether there will be another curve to follow that one.
I don’t know, I just don’t know.
But that’s life, isn’t it? I never know. On any given day there could be a bus coming up the road with my name on it, a tree destined to fall on my head. It’s just that, these days, the bus seems clearer, I feel that much closer to the tree.
I just have to keep on, doing the best I can, taking the advice, doing what I am told to do or what I tell myself I have to do.
It’s life, Jim, just bigger than we usually know it.