How does the brilliant old quote of Soren Kierkegaard go? Life can only be understood backwards but must be lived forwards. Well, if there is one year teaching me just that, it is definitely 2020, be it in the little everyday things or the huge stumbling blocks that seem to litter my path. One of those little details is the placement of my desk. In the beginning I felt cold and confined, but after we overhauled everything last week, I discovered that I actually sit in the sun for several hours, basking in the warmth. What a moment of grace to be kissed by the sun during these times of social darkness and insecurity!
I would give anything to be sitting outdoors on the beach with my soul sisters somewhere, or simply stroll around any given city, sit at a cafe and watch the people pass by. There is so much we take for granted in life which we only appreciate once it is gone or taken away from us. If the current situation isn’t a major call to mindfulness and keen awareness of everything around us I don’t know what is.
Speaking of mindfulness: when I moved my desk and working space back into my room to carve out a niche for my daughter in the conservatory, I have to admit I resented being boxed in, confined within a confinement during a confinement. How bizarre is that? Well, let’s just say that there is absolutely nothing normal about 2020, and we just barely made it through the first quarter! What on earth is the rest of this strange year going to be like? I’m not even sure I want to look into a crystal ball at this point.
And it keeps getting stranger… I had to go out yesterday, the first day of the relaxed movement restrictions in Berlin. Having been conditioned by the previous weeks, I went out with my mask and kept my distance to everyone else at the stoplight. Much to my horror, there were so many people out and about, without masks and gloves, children coughing openly, small groups of adults standing together, ignoring the 1.5m distance rule. On the one hand, it is perfectly understandable that everyone is desperate to move about normally again after the extended confinement indoors, but as Chancellor Merkel said, this is just a tentative move and it is still a very fragile situation, any carelessness on our part would jeopardise all the efforts.