What are you hoping for? Afterwards? A new normal? The old normal? A tweaked normal? A radical re-evaluation and adjustment? Do you dare even wonder about what lies beyond? Are you itching to work and dash about and hug and queue and laugh and rush and rush and rush? Or have you gone floppy and stopped bothering to project? “World – I’m here when you need me, but until then, I’ll just watch a bit more telly and gently wonder where my personality has gone…” After all, we know nothing, really, about what’s on the other side. And the road back to normal is a road untravelled.
Is your curiosity waning? What will it be like? Hmmm, shrug and assume that it will just… be. It seems that most of us have accepted that this is going to be an ugly long haul and that lockdown – for the fortunate among us – is perhaps the easiest bit. Coddled. Protected. Babied by the government so that we do not possess much agency to make choices beyond our four walls.
Oh, but that was maddening at the start. Frightening and frustrating, but human beings can be horribly adaptable. Sinisterly accepting. Stay in and get a bit fat and agoraphobic? Well, it’s not a big ask, really, is it? If you have a home with no one threatening in it and enough money for food. It’s just like a very long, rather boring, oddly busy Easter holiday.
Have you stopped thinking about the other side? Does wondering how it will be and how you will be defeat you? Exhaust you? Disappoint you? Do you understand that although you may be reduced for a while (sadly not physically) you will probably not be reinvented? Are you a little dissatisfied with yourself in advance for not emerging like a phoenix from the duvet? Do you now accept the strange tiredness; the lockdown lethargy brought about by the ever-present, low-level thrum of worry.
Why is it, that with all this space and time, it has never been harder to know what we really want? It’s like sitting in a super dull House of Fun and watching the floors shift and the parameters change until you give up noticing and just… wait. For what? For a vaccine? For an answer? For inspiration? All the time asking questions without the energy to deeply consider any answers.
So, perhaps, we could allow ourselves to leave the questions unanswered. To let go of the constant vigilance that, generally, rules our lives. To wallow in the slow. To roll around in the dull. To absorb the quiet… Because human beings are weird. And we’ll miss it when it’s gone.