Thanks for popping in. Had a little revelation yesterday. As I mentioned, went out to work really early when it was dark, and drove straight into a flash flood. I tell you this, not to get a pat on the back for going into work early on a Sunday morning with Paul, Jilly, Leanne and Brother Steve (although a pat on the back feels good from time to time!). I tell you about my drive into work because it flagged up something far more existential.
I had an experience. It may not have been a good one, but it was just that: an experience. Driving into work through a rainstorm is hardly a holiday in Maui, is it?! However, it woke me up, it made me cautious, it heightened my senses – and it gave me something to report, to share. Made me feel alive.
During Lockdown, we have all of us been greatly restricted in our movement – some more than others. I can only speak for myself, but I have felt for months that I am getting boring, repetitive, not much to talk about. And the same old topics just keep rolling round: Clarity, Brexit, Covid, Trump, Clarity, Brexit, Covid, Trump, bla bla bla.
Huge spike of excitement when we brought Ragnar and Erik home, our two little kittens. Again, this was a Big Event, because it brought with it a new and wonderful experience.
I don’t know if I am making any sense here, but the point I am trying to make is – and again, I can only speak for myself – that perhaps my despondent days are not only due to the worry and uncertainty of events in the big bad world that we have no control over. Perhaps the lack of EXPERIENCES in them, actual activities which create stimulus and interest also plays a role. Nothing happening – nothing to talk about.
You know me! I was always hopping about, doing this and that, travelling abroad, packing Life with experiences. I never looked at them as the essence of me, just simply as interesting things to do, but they certainly contribute to my personality in that they broaden my horizon.
Realising this now, art, craft and all that jazz have just changed their role for me! Books and films too. I suddenly realise that they are there, not just to calm me down and distract me during these harrowing months of pandemics and crises, but to fill my mind with EXPERIENCES . I suppose we have to use our imagination, and THINK more. I can’t let Social Media and the telly be my primary feeder of experiences! Good grief !!!!!!! Think about that! No wonder I get low!!! So art is no longer just a distraction during crisis – it is nourishment. Food for the brain, the soul.
Going to start a diary, start writing my thoughts down. Maybe even a book – a page at a time. When you dig deeper than Facebook and TV, it’s surprising what you find inside yourself, isn’t it.
John Keats once wrote,
Ever let the fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home.
Makes total sense now. I have always felt it sounded a little ungrateful. Thought perhaps he was fed up with life or the wife (although he died at 25, before he ever got to be married). But now, when I apply those two lines to this Life of ours in Lockdown, it makes complete sense at a very different level. If Pleasure is brought about by Experience, I have to use my imagination now, and my creativity, to find it.
Here are the two lines in context…
Ever let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind’s cage-door,
She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
Beautiful. Absolutely wonderful. You can lock us down physically, is how I read this, but the mind is always free to fly. Sweet Pleasure melteth – I read into those words that nothing is permanent either. This too shall pass xxx
Got to go. SHAC Shack at 10am!
Love and hugs