hand in hand
the rebirth of the earth
flowers and trees
ducks, deer and geese;
riding bikes, running
sounds of joy
under the sun
at a phone
from a bitter moment,
drops of pleasure
feelings of peace
in the spirit,
As I See It
The comments rattled off.
“It won’t last long.”
“It’s just like a flu.”
“Here today, gone tomorrow.”
“Drink bleach, it’ll make it go away.”
The actions taken.
Doctors, nurses, first responders,
working around the clock
to save as many lives possible,
putting themselves in harm’s way.
Things we had to do.
Social-distancing, hard for many,
families, friends, separated by all this,
praying for a back to normal routine.
Protesters protest, but more like mob rule.
Comgress can’t decide the right thing to do,
a president who has no clue,
a society coming unraveled,
and new life is born into uncertain tmes.
The comments still filter the air.
The healthy still still get sick and die,
responders still responding,
families still torn apart,
and the old normal will never be the same.
What to remember?
Like all things, the middle way is the best. remembering only the horrors and atrocities, would leave out a great deal of good. on the other hand, focusing only on the good, would whitewash the harsh reality, and may someday lead people into thinking this was some wonderful adventure.
like separating the wheat from the chaff, if you completely do away with the fiber, you get a very white, tasteless bread.
so what do i need to remember?
i remember my baby, having first experiences: seeing snow, eating a strawberry , and learning to stand.
i remember kindness that others have shown to me and to others. kindness without which, it would have been very difficult to survive.
I remember talking to the few foreigners that chose to stay in wuhan, and not get evacuated. how we cheered each other up.
I remember getting good news, i remember how ridculous i looked, walking to the Walmart, the FIRST day of the quarantine, dressed in a jacket(hoody on top) , swimming goggles, gloves, mask, nylon bags for my shoes, dragging all that through the street, with a stupid shopping cart along.
I remember a friend from Beijing getting on an online dating.service. only all the photos were with girls wearing the dust masks on. (‘she’s not wearing an N95. you can do better..’)
I remember doing online lessons for students. at some point.we started to joke about the connection flaking out, that we need to get some more internet oil or WiFi powder.
I also remember a lot of nastiness said and done. so much shameful, disgraceful behavior. but here is the thing: if a tragedy of historical proportions happened, we are left with a dilema, what to focus on? we must ask what would be the purpose of remembering? should it be just a series of survival lessons? or should the memory reflect more our understanding of human nature. I’ve been reading a few of my posts in the past few days,working on a project.. i noticed that i tended to oscilate between posts that were continuous rants, dark and depressing, to posts about keeping a general positive outlook. I havent done this self-digest kind of thing before. but i see that all through this period, i did not rant. i tried to show, to externalize, the positive outlook necessary. it’s like i have an alter-ego, which prevents me to slip back to just complaining. and dont get me wrong: I suffer and conplain all the time!
what i understand from this, and what i hope to show is that the history i choose to look at, is a collection of good despite the bad. i anticipate the bad. i try to prepare.l for it. i learned the sad historical context . but the real way out, over time, the way to overcome and find some hope, is to look at past memories, personal or collective , of rising above the depressing , worsening reality.
so these are the memories i will keep vividly. Some day, my baby will ask me how it was, this period. and i will tell her that. i will pass on to her the context. but i will tell her of the miracles, done by normal people. I hope she will never live through a time like this again. but the greatest survival tool that i can give her, is to keep some hope and share it with others.
So to all my friends here at TheProse, I wish you the same. look this harsh reality in the eye. don’t let it knock you down. find outlets to eliviate stress, and help bring yourself into a better place.
good luck, and BE STRONG!
'Do you remember
when we all were bored
when we all were sad
when we all were confused
that was for our safety
And thats why I trust
that even though we are bored
we’ll be here
for decades to come.
We can tell others
we stayed alive
during this time
and thats whats most important
than anything else.'
Journal Entry No. 32
When forced to confront my own company
I have found that solititude isn’t
as bad as I feared.
That I am fun by myself
And can stage a concert when -
with the speakers on loud -
I belt out song after song of my favourite albums.
And that has saved my sanity!
I have soaked up the comfort of my bed
And realised the beauty of simplicity.
For my bed has been my library, my church,
my cinema and - should I admit this - my dining room.
I have tapped into my creativity
with nothing but TTTIIIIMMMMEEE to nurture it.
whipping up pastries I had only ever bought before.
trying my hand at things I had once believed were not for me.
And the writing!!!!!!
Things were put into perspective
And I found the relationship with myself to be most essential.
Mad insane people taking everything.
Swiping up everything, to home they bring.
Going to get groceries, nothing on the shelf.
Nobody caring but only for themself.
People going out everywhere, without regard.
Not caring at all about who they have marred.
Who has died because of their betrayal.
That night you could not stay home could of been fatal.
Eye of the Storm
A storm gathers in mass,
Like a hurricane that refuses to pass.
Peace not guaranteed,
For all of those in need.
Scramble for the last piece of bread,
That will help in the months ahead.
Toilet paper is a must,
Before the economy goes bust.
You've done everything you were told,
Even as your food turns into mould.
Bills pile up, waiting for their pay.
"We know what is best," so they say.
"Stay inside at all cost,
Forget the livelihood you have lost.
Your home is the eye of the storm,
Where you will feel safe and warm."
Now that months have crept by,
And the bank account is all but dry.
There is still no end in sight.
Amazing how something so small can cause so much fright.
The Human Boson
Humanity is a magnetic field bolstered by proximity of others. It matters not who they are, only that they're near. Being near the hordes of random people, swimming through that magnetic field, charges our own humanity. Little shocks of interaction, of belonging, percolates throughout the skin and recharges the batteries within us quietly screaming for a sense of community.
Yet remove that magnetic field and suddenly the feeling of humanity is lost. Doubt, isolation creep into the subconscious. People so used to the thrill of electric humanity recharging their batteries suddenly feel drained, inhuman.
Why am I handling the COVID quarantine so well? If you've never had a battery of humanity to connect with, if you've never felt that sense of belonging, what is there to miss?
An Artist of Life
With all this chaos in the world, we start to feel like it is shaping us, like it's something we can't control.
I'm here to tell you, it's okay to slow down. Especially now, it is essentail to sculpt your reality and place more emphasis on the things you truly value.
In this crazy time, cultivate peace and sanity by returning to the foundation.
You don't have to be productive everyday, and sometimes rest itself can help us be more productive.
During the lockdown, I have gotten to spend more quality time at home with my family, something I would not have had the chance to do otherwise.
I have also gotten the chance to practice more self-care, doing things like journaling, meditating, and taking walks almost daily.
Society puts so much pressure on us to be successful; we forget to live our lives in order to achieve somthing "greater than ourselves." This is an unreasonable expectation-- not everyone is going to be the next great artist, writer, or entreperneur (and it's certainly not going to happen over a period of 6 months).
With everything that's going on in the world, we just need to let go. We need to prioritize the important things that bring us the most long-term joy.
Yes, it is important to stay present and informed in this ever-changing world, but it is equally important to consume it in healhty doses in order to stay sane.
It's okay to slow down, to be greatful for your life, to soak in each small moment.
Because we don't know how long it will last.
This could be our lowest point. Or it could be relative calm before the storm.
There is no way to know.
This is why it is important to value the challenges we face. There is no doubt, this moment in time will shape our future selves, so don't face it with apathy-- be the sculpter of your own life.