Friday morning, I sat for what felt like ages just staring at the computer screen. I had opened a new document in Word and started typing – Bulletin article, 27 September 2020. But that’s as far as I got. I had hit the infamous writer’s block. Nothing more emerged.
After a while, I put my elbows on the desk, rested my face upon my knuckles and shut my eyes. My writing mentor years ago had said to me, “when you hit the wall take some time to look at the bricks”. That’s what I did and so began a conversation with myself; one of those that takes place inside your head:
I don’t know what to write about today.
Why is that?
I don’t know.
Yes, you do.
Are you sure?
Then I realised what the problem was. Like everybody else, I am just so over lockdown. I’ve been trying to rise above it since March but I can honestly say that I am over the 4 walls of my study. I’m lucky, I’ve been able to go on nice walks. Indulge my love of trying to paint, reading, studying and writing. All the things that nourish an introvert. But I also love the company of other people. I love meaningful and meaningless conversations. The amusement that can emerge out of a conversation that changes direction and bumps into something really funny. The unplanned and the unexpected.
Like everybody else, I want this experience to come to an end. I want the coronavirus to just go away and leave us alone. I want to see my children and give them a big hug. I want to be able to help them to support and encourage their children. I want to give my grandchildren a great big hug and tell them how much they are loved – face to face! I want to sit with some friends and share some wine over a meal. I want to wait for ages at a baggage carousel. I want to set my mask on fire as an act of liberation.
But I suspect everyone is in that kind of place. None of us wanted this experience but it is what it is. We have dug deep and we have endured. I’ve been waiting each morning to hear news about the number of cases and lives lost. There is joy in the numbers coming down as they represent the probability of an easing of restrictions. There is sadness in knowing that mostly elderly people have died. They may have died of other things in any case but probably not alone; without the love and affection of family and friends. Of course, they may have.
As I sat there with my face resting on my knuckles, I realised that it’s the really simple things of life that I am missing deeply. Hopefully, we will all be able to enjoy and appreciate them again very shortly. Meanwhile………