Blurring

Time has begun to blur under lockdown.

It’s hard to know what day it is. One day follows another with little distinction.

Phyll and I still look after our granddaughter, Charlie, on a Monday. That is one marker of time that remains, but so many have disappeared.

I’m aware I have become less sharp, less mindful. Yesterday morning on our bike ride, I left my mobile phone where we stopped for coffee. I haven’t done that before.

Even the morning bike ride, which I continue to appreciate (the open spaces, the sun, blue sky, the cherry blossom and wattle), is something I do most days. It doesn’t demarcate days.

I no longer sit in my favourite café or have lunch with friends.

On Tuesday, I had to drive beyond the boundaries of my LGA for the first time in recent weeks. These boundaries have circumscribed my existence more than I had realised. So unusual was it crossing them that I felt as though I were embarking on a space flight.

Contemplating the church year, I always look forward to Interfaith month, which we mark in September.  That will be impossible this year, as it was last year.

Another opportunity to move beyond customary boundaries, to mark a significant time, has evaporated.

Yesterday, news broke that the lockdown will be extended to the end of September. Who knows how much longer it will continue after that? Today, 825 new Covid cases were reported.

There is no defined endpoint to this experience.

My aim in documenting these experiences is not to complain but to acknowledge some of the contours of the new reality we inhabit.

It raises some critical questions about balancing such blurring experiences with something more definitive and marking the passage of time more intentionally.

I’ve heard many say, ‘Well, it is what is.’ There is an undeniable truth about this statement, but it also suggests we are powerless.

I disagree.

I have found it helpful to remember the world beyond. This act places our lives in a larger context, and it offers a new perspective.

It is awkward to hold this new perspective because it can quickly lead to, ‘Oh, what I’m going through doesn’t matter.’

It does matter, but it’s not the measure of all things.

The news last week of the fall of Kabul and the reemergence of the Taliban as the governing power in Afghanistan was desperately sad, and for Afghani women especially so.

It’s important to remember their suffering.

It’s important to be grateful for the freedoms we still enjoy, even under lockdown.

I have found that recollection of life beyond our own world, our community, helps stop the blur creeping into everything.

I am aware I haven’t addressed the issue of intentionally marking time. I’m very open to any thoughts you may have…

In the meantime, stay safe, keep well, and in recollecting the world around, may you discover a measure of hope.