We are publishing submissions about the COVID-19 crisis from readers daily on NewPhilosopher.com in the hope that it can help us all make sense of what is happening, and as a historical record of how it made us feel. Here are your thoughts, from around the world.
By Erica Greenop, Sydney, Australia
Staying at home gives me uninterrupted time for thought-wanderings, my grown-up version of day-dreams. Treasures. Imaginings. Nonsense. Moments crowding in. Invited, now we are self-isolating. Welcome. ‘Not a weapon any more in the war against reality.’ Lewis Carroll wrote that. Finding stuff. Apparently by chance. I found Lewis Carrol in my grand-daughter’s unicorn colouring-in book.
What does this tell me about ‘me?’
I need notice of that question. And tomorrow, when the world is back on track, I might notice none of this has any relevance to anything at all.
But the world isn’t back on track. I had news last week that an old colleague - old as in my age, old as in we were friends, way back in 1959 - has died of the virus. She leaves an elderly husband and four adult children and numerous grand-children. She was adored. I am thinking of their grief, their sadness, their pain. Their loneliness. The unwanted terrifying reminder of the frailty of being human. The silence of death. I tried to capture that in words.
And yesterday I received an email from a friend who lives with chronic pain. She told me this new pace of life, the quietness, the slowness, frees up the invisible silent joy inside her spirit to connect again with the world. I tried to capture that in words too.
This is what I wrote.
Who knew silence could be so loud?
Who else can hear it sobbing in the night,
pleading for something different
Who can hear its loneliness,
long grey emptiness,
its high walls crowding in
Who knew silence could be so quiet
when there is so much to sing about?
Who else can hear the mist,
butterflies unfolding their wings,
shadows spinning like love in the afternoon?
Who else hears the distant blur,