I woke up from a nap. My son had fallen asleep on my chest while I caught up with a series on Netflix, but later joined him. At times like this, when plans of being productive fails; I surrender. I’m learning to acquiesce to the disorganisation of some days. Long stretched hours of doing everything with him and marvelling at how fast he’s growing, yet I go to bed with a sense of futility. Exhausted from doing almost nothing. The night before, I’d gathered myself, read my devotion and planned my week, it’s going to be a productive and joyful one. Almost certain that when it is planned before Monday morning, it’s going to be perfect. It’s now past four on Monday evening when I wake up from the nap feeling dreamy. Like I’d fallen from the sky into this grey planet where everything is familiar yet strange. Everything is the same and my home still smells of the incense I’d burned in the morning. All of a sudden, I remember it’s week four of lockdown and bumping into the same faces in the long corridor is becoming tiring. Wasn’t it just yesterday I ditched my daily one hour walk for a bicycle ride which I hadn’t done since I was pregnant. We made barbecue, and I was elated. I laughed at how unnecessary it was to complain when life can be enjoyed? “Life is generous” I even tweeted. That’s what the sun does to you.
How are you? I take my son to the living room, singing to him while he plays in his cot and I prepare his fruitpap. On hearing our voices, his dad comes down from upstairs where he’s working. “How are you?” I asked. “I feel dreamy. Strange.” He replied causally. “Me too.” I gave a loud chuckle.See, I can’t say it is sadness but I cannot also claim the joy lacking at the moment. To give this kind of emptiness (a void that exist and lurks around, vying for space with peace of mind and gratitude) a name is arduous. You just feel it. The fog, the uncertainty; not necessarily anxiety because I’ve learned to tame that one. Not fear; “be gone” I’d say often, and it obeys. You just feel it or you don’t. And if you don’t, good for you. You see, when my husband said dreamy. He got it. I got him and that was all he needed to say to know that despite our going out to get air; him walking and cycling with our son every morning and evening; us talking and sharing our vulnerabilities in this scary time; it is still normal to feel strange. As if this pandemic (Covid-19) is unreal. He likes to call it a RESET.
I step out to my backyard only to notice that something has changed. Time is not still. Two evenings ago, on my way back from a walk, I began writing a poem with an opening sentence: nothing like it feels like spring. Yesterday, they were nothing but budding branches. Today, the Japanese cherry tree in my garden springs forth pink flowers in their glory. Something moved apart from time. Maybe it’s a sign of hope. A thing we need the most at this time we’re living in. For a while I’ve been waiting patiently to see that things get back to normal. The news is a constant repetition of words I do not want to hear. I try to write. I succeed on somedays, and on other days, the blank page won’t stop staring.
I’m worried that things may never go back to normal, that so many things and people are falling apart and people are losing hope, but I’m also learning. I’m learning that there will be days when my spirit will shrivel up, and on some I’d find myself being outwardly free like filming a tiktok video and tweeting what I normally won’t. I’m learning that it’s okay to acknowledge the emotions when they come, and let them stay as long as I can accommodate them but also feel free to shut the door on their faces. To wait with uncertainty, knowing that I cannot have control over every phase of my life but I can prepare for what’s coming next. You never really prepare for a pandemic though.
It’s crazy how life switches up on you. Right before your eyes and you beg it like it owes you, get mad and return to the same turn you took if you find your way. So if you’re feeling dreamy (like us) this period: it’s okay to get lost in yourself, feel the strangeness, but return. Lean in. Deep enough and maybe you’d find answers to those questions that won’t stop lurking.