Jun 9 • 11M

Lock Down and Other Joys of Life

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Honestly, lock down and covid restrictions have suited me just fine. I’m happy to stay home and be a hermit, listen to music, read and write; garden and ride my bike when I need to get out of the house. Right now I’m enjoying a tasty Cafe de Anatolia playlist. From 1:27:09.

Yes I’m privileged but I worked hard for this. I did my time in the workforce, working for the man even when I was the man. That was even harder, actually, more responsibilities including coming up with the motivation and the strategy and the transportation and the fricking accounting and of course beating down the competition before it beat me.

It was a jolly ride at times and depressingly drudgerous at times. And so what I wanted to say, ensconced here in my ‘office’ with the windows open to the prevailing breeze coming in from the gulf and listening to Ala Chokri, is this.

Life is beautiful. Everything is a process. Enjoy all of it. Even death. It could be a friend not an enemy. You don’t want to be here forever. That would be like a vampire existence, no appreciation. Mortality gives us that edge. Everything means something because one day we won’t be here.

Of course death does have that spontaneous aspect. It doesn’t follow a schedule. But that’s good too. Would you really like to know when you’re going to die? That would be horrible, like an execution date. No, let it be a wild card. Come when it may. Until then and every day, carpe diem, ‘seize the day’, aspire, work on being happy, find the serenity within yourself. Sage advice right? Ha ha ha ha. It’s the wisdom of death, not mine.

These days I feel more elation than I ever have before. Like my mentor Prem Rawat has said, court clarity; well I think court elation also deserves mention.

I have wasted so much time in my life. And I know that because it didn’t feel good. There was no elation. It seems to be a reward of some kind, coming from somewhere - the gift of elation.

Honestly and truly I feel that the lockdown and the showdown and the working at home and the social distancing and all the rest of it has been good. A chance to reset our priorities. Include elation on the list of things to do each day. That would be a wonderful idea and a brilliant breakthrough, in my humble opinion.

And the bloody pandemic isn’t done with us yet. There’s plenty more time to adjust our routines and our schedules to avoid each other. From the Guardian, ‘US Covid cases may be 30 times higher than reported’. That’s from a week ago when I was writing this post but wow. Super wow. How long is this thing going to go on while we diddle around? If your child was sick you would take care of it, whatever it took. Take them to the doctor, keep them in bed, feed them medicine - until they got better. What’s with the half measures and the resistance to vaccines and modern scientific breakthroughs in epidemiology (that’s the science of epidemics)?

Oh well, don’t want to make a screed of it. Just want to enjoy the music, have dinner, watch the sun go down, inspect the garden, maybe go for a ride when it cools off.

Now goth sonne under wode —
Me reweth, Marie, thi faire rode,
No goth sonne under tre —
Me reweth, Marie, the sonne and thee.

— Anonymous, 12 century

That’s the epigraph to a collection of poems by Robert Hass called appropriately ‘Sun Under Wood’. The first poem follows:

“Because yesterday morning from the steamy window
we saw a pair of red foxes across the creek
eating the last windfall apples in the rain—
they looked up at us with their green eyes
long enough to symbolize the wakefulness of living things
and then went back to eating—

and because this morning
when she went into the gazebo with her black pen and yellow pad
to coax an inquisitive soul
from what she thinks of as the reluctance of matter,
I drove into town to drink tea in the cafe
and write notes in a journal—mist rose from the bay
like the luminous and indefinite aspect of intention,
and a small flock of tundra swans
for the second winter in a row was feeding on new grass
in the soaked fields, they symbolize mystery, I suppose,
they are also called whistling swans, are very white,
and their eyes are black—

and because the tea steamed in front of me,
and the notebook, turned to a new page,
was blank except for a faint blue idea of order,
I wrote: happiness! it is December, very cold,
we woke early this morning,
and lay in bed kissing,
our eyes squinched up like bats

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