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not so much lockdown blues?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2020 1:01 pm
by Judith
You might be interested in this piece, written for the Italian Magazine Grapevine..

.Well in the Middle Ages we had the Plague, and reportedly Thomas Cromwell’s wife and his two daughters died within a day when he was out on the King’s business) now we have Covid we all struggle to manage ourselves at this difficult time, we can think of the good which is coming out of such stringent times as well as the bad. Don’t sigh just yet please – just keep reading.. A friend sent me a wonderful picture of a young deer, (pic)leaping and gambolling in the waves by the sea.. the friend said she had often seen deer tracks (pic) while she camped on the beach, but had had no idea that the deer came down to play rather than to eat (no munchies for them on the unbroken sands..) So can we ponder on the opposite of lock DOWN which might be the freedom to fly upwards, unfettered and finding new ways of experiencing the world. In Tuscany at the time of writing there have been 752 deaths, but none reported in the hill town of Barga where the residents always talk of ‘la buona aria’..(pic by Giuseppe Luti). Even in cities the air has become purer, more breathable, and while the streets may be empty (pic of Rome) our lungs may be filling up so that we too can experience the energy of the lithe young deer- or at least more energy than we’ve been experiencing hitherto. Yes indeed there are the downsides too- many more domestic abuse cases reported, and how scary indeed to be locked up with someone who abuses you- a downturn in mental health as those already teetering on the edge of depression fall down down down during the dreaded lockdown. When will it end? When will ‘normal’ return? Will it ever return? These are imponderable questions and there is not one of us who revels in uncertainty. This is why we fill our ‘normal’ world with timetables, duties, oughts and shoulds – it may be about much more than making money though that of course is something which becomes more problematic as economies dwindle.. One can be overwhelmed by the conflicting advice and opinion riding on the surf around the Internet on technological waves- frequent 20 second handwashing is at least something all seem to agree on-.. more and more of us are finding that it’s better not to join this swell- not putting one’s head in the sand, as some cynics may argue, but still able to revel in the friendliness of neighbours, the discovery that there are many little things which make up our world as well -as the broad political sweeps.. Yes there is kindness in this new world of ours: as Philip Larkin the depressive poet said ‘we should be careful of each other, we should be kind, while there is still time’, While Larkin said of his home town of Lichfield in England ‘God this place is dull’ there is something to see everywhere and never more than in Tuscany where.he visited Vallombrosa in the mountain chain of Pratomagno.His words below may resonate with many of us now..
‘So through the dark I walk, and feel
The ending year (well we do hope not that long!)about me lapse,
Dying, into its formal shapes
Of field and tree;
And think I feel its faint appeal
Addressed to all who seek for joy,
But mainly me:

‘From those constellations turn
Your eyes, and sleep; for every man
Is living; and for peace upon
His life should rest;
This must everybody learn
For mutual happiness, that trust
Alone is best.’

Judith Edwards