It’s a real thing, a recognised phenomenum. We are so over the restrictions of staying in our 5km zone and here in Ireland we are waiting, waiting and waiting for our vaccination notification. But, even those who have been vaccinated have few places to go; only essential travel – work (which has been mostly at home for a year), medical, pharmacy and grocery. That’s it! I live in a very beautiful place and have a garden. I feel a bit ashamed to make this admission given that I am privileged to have pretty fine technology -phone, internet, devices – and natural beauty. But we want to reach out and actually touch the far flung loved ones. We keep hoping to see one another and the dates recede and recede. Maybe summer. Maybe in late summer, outdoors, we will be able to give a masked pandemic hug.
Also, I am fortunate in having Zoom students where we can air our experiences and compare how things are being handled in Canada as opposed to Ireland. It is thanks to one of those students that I have taken up the challenge to build a poem around some quotes from our conversation last Saturday. The second poem also reflects a telephone conversation with another friend. She cares for her 94 year old mother who has pronounced that this pandemic is worse than World War 2. Sure, they faced death. But living didn’t threaten your life. “We could go to dances. If we were down in the dumps we went next door and had a cuppa tea with a neighbour and had a moan.” Peggy fell in love and married 75 years ago at the end of the war. She has a point. The Guardian newspaper writes articles with headlines such as “How the Whole World Lost Its Libido.”
We compare anecdotes from England and the USA , where the vaccine roll out has been gaining traction, and feel like we are living in corsets. They hope to have all the kids back into in-person schooling by 12th April, but…the numbers of infection dictate everything. The week after Mother’s Day weekend and St. Patrick’s Day saw a jump in reported cases. Easter weekend, four days of no where to go, will be the final temptation.
Safe to say that the phrase ‘stir crazy’ has taken on layers and layers of texture. It’s more a cri de cœur.
Thanks to Susan for stating this challenge.
We are so over Covid "We are so over Covid". "But it's not over us!" Life is slow as treacle in a January freeze. Framed in a five kilometre square. It's messed up. In my head it's a convention of fairies' wishes washed up ashore after a hurricane. How is it that days inch by at warp speed? Because I'm taking my reality cues, hemmed by routine. But everything is always strange. It's collaged. We have taken scissors to what used to pass as society. Some days I feel as if I hold a beating heart, lifted up, out, by blood soaked hands during transplant surgery. I want to be told "It's time. It's done. Close her up. Let her live again." However we repair, or process, will we transcend what is lost? We count the cost, regretting offence. But have we built a world with more walls and fences?
Telephone conversations that crossed oceans, seas or just down the road a piece inspired the next poem.
Truly Truly, I am glad that my sister can drive out to a mountain cabin in another state now. But here, we dream more modestly. My friend, connected by telephone, and I we dream of when we might venture forth, ranging into the county, say. Or maybe even ten kilometres wide. That would take us both to separate forest parks, larger sky. My friend's 94-year old mother, now fully vaccinated, perked up after twelve weeks (more!) feeling incarcerated. "I can go out in two weeks!" Said triumphantly. "But where?" countered her carer. The fleshpots of Tesco beckon, her prospect of living the high life now. In England, my friend reports they can sedately cluster in groups of six outdoors in the fresh air from this week. Where we remain locked up and downcast within our prescribed five kilometre zone. Even a trip to the dentist is welcome excuse to travel passed scenery not seen for months past. So I am feeling a little bit green, in all its varying shades from this Emerald Isle, from nausea to envy, and dream of Blue Ridge hills or the ocean waves that break upon a shimmering sandy strand , but not viewed in video clip. Copyright ©Bee Smith, 2021, All rights reserved.
The featured image comes from Biddy Tarot. https://www.biddytarot.com.
It’s the 8 of swords and that pretty much sums it up!