And so it is that I try to resurrect something that has fallen by the wayside in my attempt to live in the last few years. And yet, it is so hard to tell stories at a time when the people whose stories one might tell are all so far away.
Watching a man walk a dog or a woman flailing her arms about jogging along a sunny road from a distant balcony is like watching a movie without the sound on where nothing much happens except to provide you the opportunity to describe a green meadow or the light or a plant which has flowered in the Spring.
It is too hard to read the captions. It is too hard to think and so much easier to let the afternoon lethargy take over.
Yet, this is the time of the most terrible tragedies and the most acute pain. Daily news through news channels is slowly becoming numbers numbing the senses already. As news comes in of real people from the city through other means, it is a name or a face that flashes in front of my eyes many times and then blends into the current big, terrible story. Someone’s father, someone’s grandfather, someone sick writing an email themselves.
Then, more waiting. Cooking, eating, watching the weather.
It is like refreshing a social media page waiting for a notification. It always comes, with bad news.
I’m aware that there is so much privilege in waiting. There is so much privilege in having nothing happen. There is so much privilege in being able to socially distance (as people are calling it).
This is especially clear to those of us who live straddling two different countries, one where there is so little opportunity to hunker down for days in private spaces where older loved ones are left to fend for themselves when one is so far away.
The waiting, it is terrifying.
Wondering about older loved ones. But also wondering about younger people in crowded spaces in the same city who don’t have space struggling with everyday living.
But this isn’t so isolating.
There are the people of the videoconferencing apps. Framed people, some in odd angles and some the perfect pictures. Albeit devoid somewhere of their peopleness. Real people who aren’t people. But will be someday. One day.
Let us wait.
5 thoughts on “Where are the People?”
The NYT’s story this morning about Grandma Rocket had me sobbing. It’s all too sad. I feel for the people who must go to work and for those who cannot isolate because they don’t have sufficient living space.
I do hope we learn something from it all, especially now that we know how to restore our skies to blue, and can see views hidden by pollution previously, – so good to read you again…
The good and wise people are hiding indoors, the selfish uncaring are mixing with others
Well written. I feel the same way. Are somewhat in the same shoes, continents apart from ‘old’ family. If I wouldn’t involve myself in my writing, I’d have – nothing, but wait. Wait for what? Change? That will be a long tome coming. Stay well…
Stay well. Absolutely agree.