Lockdown blues

Setting up the room: 20 minutes. Filming: 60 minutes. Editing: three hours. I stopped editing not even halfway into the video. I abandoned the recording and decided to retreat. I will make a new attempt to film this video lesson on another day. My worries over the lockdown and state of the world spoiled my recording. Or, regarding my storytelling, I’m just not there yet.

That evening I started to work on my poem »Why not«, and was finished twenty-four hours later. With that out of the way I continued to work on my new movement sequence. Crawling. Detailed and quiet. I’m still wondering how I could turn this into a video. I was going slower. I was sensing more, asking more questions, establishing more connections. I was going deeper, committing myself to all that I am. An intense work with patterns as old as humanity itself. Deep trauma release. Deep enough to catch me off guard even under good circumstances.

But the circumstances are not good.

Last year, in March 2020, governments around the world have started to follow… maybe that’s not the right word… have started to implement some of the same draconian practices as China: they locked down tens of millions of their own citizens, at once. You know the story. The story of the one deadly virus and the things that have to be done. You know how it is, how things work. You’ve experienced the same. You’ve seen long standing venues closed for months at a time, or going out of business altogether. You’ve heard of people dying, alone, neglected the right to be comforted by their loved ones. Alas, I hope that this is just something you have heard of. You’ve felt the social distancing, seen the disappearance of faces behind masks, and the divide of every nation into WUHAN-virus COVID19-vaxxers and COVID19-anti-vaxxers. And the strange sight of empty shelves in grocery stores.

»Look, today they have strawberry jam! For the first time in weeks!« I tell myself.

Last year I’ve been naive. In October 2020 I was still thinking big media is pushing the virus story merely to take off some heat from the US elections. How wrong I was, how ignorant.

Last year I was lucky. When the lockdowns started I happened to be traveling, and decided to stay in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, until everything is back to normal again. Vietnam, protected by some invisible number magic, seemed to have been spared by the virus machine.

Now the tables have turned. I’m in the 4th lockdown. I’ve sat through six weeks of light lockdown, where we were supposed to stay at home, but could still go out for shopping, or for taking a walk. Two weeks and three days ago they turned that into a hard lockdown for 35+ million people. Since then, being caught outside can lead to high fines, Visa troubles, or being locked up in a government supplied facility. Big media and well placed social media clips delivered the scary stories that now keep the streets empty, and people policing each other.

But the numbers still do not satisfy the leadership. Therefore, last Friday they added two more weeks of hard lockdown. For our own good.

Biologists estimate that 380 trillion viruses are living on and inside the human body at any given moment—10 times the number of bacteria. Some can cause illness, but many simply coexist with us. I trust in my risk factor profile, in my genetics that have developed over millions of years and found its place in between millions of other species, in balance, in the proteins of my own immune system, in my starch based diet, in getting enough sleep and exercise. I trust in the ability to trust and to love.

Meanwhile, some 9,626 km away, this Sunday morning my two times AstraZeneca vaccinated 79 year old father found a field of chicory flowers. They grew next to the side-walk up the street in front of his house, they appeared seemingly out of nowhere. He advised me to use all that I know, everything I have ever learned, to take good care of myself to make it through these difficult times.

My father sent me a picture of the small flowers he loves so much. To me they look like as if they are always growing, growing up, taking one step at a time, step by step, towards the light, higher and higher. Or the other way round, »It’s almost as if the deep blue sky that you only see in the clear air on a high mountain has been spirited into the plant and shines at you in its many flowers«, writes Craig Holdrege, of The Nature Institute.

Stay strong, my friend. Keep on keeping on.