NOT WHO WE ONCE WERE

I looked at a photograph of me today. It was taken in December 2019 and I look silly and boisterous and I have no idea who that person is.

Maybe the ‘new me’ is no new me at all but merely a reflection of a mood…a mood brought on by this extended lockdown. But at the risk of sounding like Greta Garbo, I just want to be alone. Quick rendez-vous with friends seem like insurmountable effort. Doing proper shopping might just kill me. Who has the strength to carefully pick out the freshest vegetables, to find unpronounceable spices or to wait at the counter for a good cut of meat?

If bread was good enough for Jesus’s people, it’s good enough for me.

Being perfectly content in my hermit-y life and always having been a bit of a loner, I tend to consider my new life the ideal. But it’s not. I worry how I will adapt in “normal” environments when we (if we?) return to work on a full scale basis. If my boss works in a surreptitious insult in a board meeting, will I remain composed? Or will I do what I do as remote employee: confirm my mic is muted and scream into the screen that he is a louse feasting on an old Afghan camel’s ass?

It’s hard to predict.

I’m losing touch with friends too. No-one goes out on Friday evenings after work anymore, because there are no longer ‘after works’ and there are no longer ‘goes outs’. No-one strolls through book stores anymore. We all order our books online. Theatre? Movies? Forget it…

I wonder how other people have changed. I heard someone say on the radio yesterday that it is unlikely we’ll ever return to normal life. Life has changed. And it hasn’t done so along the slow, wavy momentum of evolution. It has changed in the time it takes thunder to become and then strike down on rooftops.

We have changed as communities and as individuals and I don’t think anyone yet fully grasps the extent of and the consequences of this shift. Our non-recognition of ourselves and others is clouded by the confines of our homes and fears. I always get a little nervous at the beginning of a university year. I can’t imagine what it will feel like returning to a new varsity year after all this…

But some things remain the same…time for chococino.

[Image by: michalhlavac204 on Pixabay]

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