Grief For Living

The world had become a circus: we were watching the inevitable roll out, as we were placed as spectators rather than participants, with an unwanted indifference at always knowing how things were going to pan out.

We worked hard to try to understand why one day was so different to the next.

The same events rolled out before us, unsurprising and uneventful. They did not seek to shock or awe, but attempted to force us into a false monotony of living: only we were not that unintelligent.

Our moods fluctuated in rebellion, desperate for difference. This discontentment of the same and then the same and then the same started with novelties and niceties: internet shopping and pacification; cake orders and takeaways; we marvelled at the time we had to stop, and pause, and breathe. Only, that wasn’t quite right, this submissive ‘allowing’ was a false dichotomy, as we attempted to brand it as interesting, or novel. And so, we began to grieve for living. Life wasn’t enough within walls. And this grief for before was what could become our greatest downfall.

We tired of loopholes, and recognised our technological triumphs weren’t quite the same: we couldn’t touch faces through Facetime, or observe the quiet shuffle of contentment in conversation with another with just their face and shoulders as indicators. We couldn’t balance our stops and pauses and breaths with busyness, because the busyness was all self created: we had filled our days with busyness- the next live showing, the next celebrity offering, the next sale, the next distraction- but it lacked sustenance. It lacked the very nature of what it means to be human, and we knew this, all too well. There was a reason that money and time fails to placate; we were searching for purpose in the purposelessness.

But we couldn’t complain, because people were, and continue to be dying. This restlessness, this ingratitude or lack of fortitude: it has no place when placed against the horror and brutality of death-the two are incomparable. We are reluctant look at figures and faces, turning our attention to it all the same, this thing that demands our focus so relentlessly. It has become an unsatisfactory digestif to our disquiet daily menu.

This grief for living is what I presume will be used manipulate our wish to return to normality, and I understand that. The luxury of people in my home is not something I take for granted. We crave humanity. Even more saddening, it is only fear that stems this clambering feeling of more-than cabin fever that on some days, is minimal and insignificant, but some days, threatens to encompass everything you were before. This living that we look towards is not what we knew it to be, or what we might hope to recognise it as, but a poor substitute.

Whatever the announcement on Sunday 10th May, in its faux-frenzy and state of perpetuated urgency that the media have tried to create, I hope it is not this quote that I think on:

I felt very still and empty, the way the eye of a tornado must feel, moving dully along in the middle of the surrounding hullabaloo.

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