Ok, Ok, I will write another… Maybe, just maybe, it will help me feel better? Writing seems to help me to process things and clear my mind, yes look at me tapping away – as if I have someone who is listening to me and I can make sense of my foggy thoughts and feelings, yes, ok, here goes…
I have lost my mojo. It’s gone. Vanished. Well, it makes a small appearance from time to time and I can pretend quite effectively. But mostly I feel like I am bobbing around out at sea. I cannot seem to reclaim a routine with my children, we had one and it has slipped away, and I can’t seem to grab a hold of what it was or reinvent it. They want to play all the time or watch screens or eat or fight with each other or ask me a series of befuddling questions for which they want immediate and concrete answers, or in the lush warm weather they demand water play which = paddling pools, hoses, water guns, which in turn = a lot of effort and tidying up afterwards. I tried to count how many times I heard ‘muuum’ called out through the day but gave up when I got to 20 in under 5 minutes. We are not even being particularly creative, which is just plain weird for us. I spend my time meeting my children’s basic needs, keeping up with domestic tasks (of which there are plenty while we are all home most of the time) squeezing in a few zoom meetings, trying to get my head into a space where I can produce some work (which mostly seems to involve grappling with digital technology), trying to encourage my eldest to do her ‘school work’ (which mostly seems to involve grappling with digital technology), and trying to process my own thoughts and feelings about this strange life we lead. How will we get back to ‘normal’? Why would we want to? Like that great piece of graffiti in Hong Kong, normal was the problem, right? I think I am in mourning for a few things, some very personal, and some felt by each and every one of us such as: my friends; my family who live far away; school and the many wonderful teachers; work; cafes; pubs; visiting new places; train journeys; car journeys; galleries; friends; friends; friends; hugs from friends.
How will we do life differently in the future? I have made a few changes and intend to continue. I bake more. I have started growing a few veg. I shop less. I am thinking about trying to make oat milk and how to cut down more on waste. Some of these were things were not given the space in my mind before all of this and now they are ever present and feel more achievable and less something that you choose more something dutiful and less overwhelming to include as a part of my life in a long term way. I have had conversations with my children about Climate Change and am introducing the ideas of things we can change in our behaviour and why we should.
Ah, and of course, the painted rocks. In May, my girls and I set up a painted rock trail for people to share messages of mutual support along the Tayport Common’s sea wall. That has kept me going. Brought me hope and joy and the ‘real’ connection I am longing for. The community has taken ownership, wonderful, it has crossed divides and brought folk together, been posted on and discussed on various social media channels and pages as well as in the street and out of windows and over shop counters, it has been brought to life. I will continue to enjoy those expressions of human creativity, self-expression and solidarity, the simple things can bring the most pleasure.