“In the dark time, the eye begins to see.” Theodore Roethke
The words of the American poet Theodore Roethke feels so resonating during this time. The last few weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotions. The well planned, well ordered, privileged and predictable life we had come to take for granted got ruthlessly overturned. And it looks like we are not going to come down of that roller-coaster anytime soon, it feels like we are going to feel the churning for a while.
I have felt a mix of non-chalance – gratitude, disbelief, helplessness, outrage, anger, frustration, empathy, fear, surprise, anticipation, loneliness, joy. But among all this I have also felt overwhelmed by all the advices and ideas out there on how to get through this time. Praying, binge watching shows, painting rainbows, cooking, sleeping, neighbourliness, exercise, games and gardening. And all the subjects that are most undervalued by our education system turned out to be precisely the thing that comforted us during a bleak time.
I watched the slowing down of the entire planet at once. I watched lifestyles coming to a halt. For the first time in a very long time I listened to music and not as something in the background while doing something else but just to listen to music. I read books and fell in love with the characters. I threw stones in the pond and counted the ripples. I smelled the bougainvillea and walked barefoot on the grass. I watched little mangoes appear on a flowering tree, the crimson and purple colour of the sky, rose-ringed parakeet feast on fruits of a corn plant, a pair of rare white pigeons and a ladybug in the middle of her charade.
From birdsong and clearer skies to acts of great kindness, there’s a lot to celebrate from being holed up for more than two months. Sometimes it really helps to take a step back to see the great pause. Breathe in and breathe out for a while and do whatever soothes your soul. If you have no idea what that is, just listen to music or chase butterflies or sit by a window or in the balcony and gaze at the world outside. You will see that the blossoms had never been blossomier. The clear sky had never been clearer. You couldn’t remember the sky being that perfectly blue.I guess what I’m trying to say is take a break and look around the outside world . There are so many revelations waiting to happen.
What about you, what kind of emotions have been cruising through you?