Brenda, how could you have been so naive? - 08 July 2020

08 July 2020

Today I feel truly blessed and so happy to be here since I feel to have been missing for some time.  Sorry about that.

As I creep out of four months of lockdown, and experience just a few of the things that others have been dealing with, I feel humbled and strangely vulnerable…  and my heart is full of compassion, love and concern for those who have been so badly affected by all these months of serious disturbance to their lives.  Not having been out in the world, it feels so odd to see shop after shop closed, streets obviously more busy than they have been of late, but still pretty deserted… eerily quiet… alien. And I can hear myself saying four months ago that people would not emerge unchanged after months of solitary confinement… and I do feel that change…as though the world has moved on and I’ve been missing – haven’t witnessed it personally despite the endless news online… as though I’ve suddenly arrived from a different place and can hardly understand where I am… naive and naked. On my first (and as yet, only) excursion into what is usually a bustling little university town, everything seemed a bit too quick even though I’m sure it’s slower than it was… Strange. I found myself pausing to look, astonished at this new world and that I needed to acclimatise to this strange place that I hadn’t really seen before. I naively suggested we should go and have a cup of coffee to be met by my daughter’s beautiful smile – ‘But Mum, there’s nowhere to go.’ And I felt so sad and wondering how everyone else has coped with this daily reality – just a cup of coffee!  Nothing major like my workplace has closed down and I’ve now no job and nothing with which to feed my family! And I scolded myself.  Brenda, how could you have been so naive?

I’m appreciating even more deeply than before the courage of those who have been out there all along – working while feeling at risk, suffering grief and still having to get on with life as best they could, waking up and finding their livelihood was gone, suddenly having nowhere to go and nothing to do and feeling bereft.  And I’m looking with hope at the way forward.  How we can learn to touch each other again and not look with suspicion at who might be carrying this potentially deadly weapon in the form of something invisible to our eyes yet more potent than many a weapon we knew before…
So I’m full of gratitude for all of those who have keep the world moving while I’ve been absent.  All those who have cared for things, looked after essential services, made sure I had clean water, food and electricity and enabled me to still be in the world albeit from a closeted distance.  And I’m sorry if I didn’t appreciate you as much as I should have done – could have done – before… And I hope that you yourselves are well and also feel cared for.  I’m grateful for everyone who has contributed to my comfort, my survival, my pleasure, my joy these last four months and beyond… Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Please take care of yourselves as you’ve taken care of me.

I send you much love, gratitude and humility

Brenda