Dunno about you, but weirdly, I’m finding these lockdown days racing by….this is a real surprise.
Since London Mayor Sadiq Khan has indicated he may require Londoners to wear face masks in public places, I’ve dug out my fabric scrap bag and starting sewing, using wonderful free video tutorials on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR5yb4sFDTo I hate it when I see people wearing masks…for me it’s a mark of fear; however, I’m now realising that maybe I have to minimise potential harm to other people…so I will be wearing one when I go shopping.
Miracles are happening. A free box of ‘food essentials’ arrived on our doorstep today – provided by the government. We didn’t ask for it, and didn’t need its contents…but as husband is on the government’s ‘extremely vulnerable’ list, it seems they just decided to deliver. I felt surprised and amazed when we opened the front door, along with mystified, grateful and guilty. We can afford to buy these things ourselves and there are others who can’t…but the idea is to keep my husband inside, and not at the shops. We have been managing without these boxes by getting some deliveries ourselves but we cannot, as yet, get a supermarket delivery slot, so I do periodically go out to the least busy shops and get anything we need with relative ease and at a socially acceptable distance. We will (hopefully) be able to cancel this service and give what they have given us to the local foodbank.
But suppose…suppose…no…..Nah. Suppose something really, really weird…counter-intuitive, is happening. Suppose the arrival of a global, enforced shutdown is a miracle. Mass tourism is destroying nature in Thailand…but suddenly sharks and dolphins are returning to the deserted bays. Small independent shops are getting a huge fillip and are developing their own online presence/delivery service – some using Uber. The air in London is cleaner. People have time to think about what they really want. What they really want to do. People are repairing things…using their hands…one of the most popular prime time TV shows at the moment (formerly a staple of ‘daytime’ TV) is ‘The Repair Shop’, where a group of expert craftsmen repair people’s prized possessions. People are looking at how they can re-purpose their stuff and their skills…and exploring new skills. Many people are walking and exercising every day, without paying a gym membership. People are volunteering, going out of their way to help their (often previously unknown) neighbours. People are repairing their clothes!…finding out how to remove bobbles from jumpers. People are actually hearing the birds…if you’re not working, there may be nothing to do but stare out of the window…you can chose whether to worry, or listen to the birds. If you are worried, that is understandable. All is uncertain. Eckhardt Tolle may bring you some relief, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiEU84nHEcY, if you are amenable to what he is saying, but if you are not, how about if it turns out that this is all part of a miracle that may make us realise that slowing down the planet might be a good thing, and maybe over-production of things we don’t need is not necessary; maybe economies don’t have to keep growing – maybe they can safely ‘stagnate’ because the world doesn’t really need everything they produce. Maybe we can aim for GNH instead (Gross National Happiness) as they do in Bhutan, https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=gross+domestic+happiness. If the global slump results in poverty and unrest…maybe those that ‘have’ might consider how they can help restore balance…perhaps by helping to improve financial/economic inequality. Perhaps we might start thinking that health services across the world should be universally available and robust; that we all need to think about each other, about the animals, about our planet. Perhaps we may end up feeling that how much we own pales next to the safety and integrity of our communities. If this goes on for a good length of time (as seems likely) and the planet starts to adjust and get some breathing space…and starts to feel…better..maybe we will put down our phones, look back at this time, and realise that although technology is marvellous when it really serves us, maybe face to face is important; and that maybe we can all manage with less…..and we might end up calling this period…a miracle. It’s a weird idea..but who knows.