The fact that

15 May

The fact that it’s day 52 of lockdown and I’m still reading Ducks, Newburyport, the fact that I’m only half way through, maybe a little less, the fact that actually I’m on page 438 but that doesn’t seem like much for 52 days, the fact that to be fair it is a very long book, maybe that’s not too bad, stream of consciousness, no full stops, the fact that it’s much less than I used to read though, the fact that I just don’t seem to get a moment to read properly, only in the bath and that’s maybe twice a week, max, the fact that it’s not a relaxing book to read before bed, the fact that I just can’t read when Ellen’s there nagging me all day long, the fact that I used to read a lot more and be much more cultured and interesting and have I just given up maybe, nagging, looking for tiny toys, the fact that it must be the same for most mums but I miss my past, interesting self, baths, eczema, wrong emollient, lockdown at the pharmacy, the fact that Tom does better but he’s a fast reader, like Hannah, the fact that I’m glad Hannah got Ducks, Newburyport after I recommended it to her and she says she can relate, the fact that I thought it might be a bit too close to the bone and stressful for her to read, baking, pies, calling Hannah from the car, too hot for the dog to sit in the car with me, bookmark, the fact that you have to use a bookmark with this book otherwise you’d never find your place, the fact that I don’t usually bother but I’ve made an exception just for Ducks, Newburyport, dog, let him out for a wee, has he been, check for hedgehogs first though even though he usually ignores them, will I finish it before the lockdown ends, the book, not the wee, the fact that I don’t think so but it would be a good achievement if I did, the fact that I thought about starting another book too but then I’d never get through it, Ellen going back to preschool, find more time, the fact that I should write something too instead of always just faffing around on the internet and eating biscuits,

A three year-old’s view of life in lockdown

27 Apr

“Mummy you have to come to my toy shop!”

“Okay – hello! Can I buy a toy please?”

“Sorry, shop closed!”

“Oh.”

“Mummy, the postman will bring you a toy! Here you go!”

(In the park)

“I gave that lady a lot of space. I’m very good at giving people space!”

This made me a bit sad.

“I want to play Meeting!”

Puts on noise-cancelling headphones, sits on office chair, scribbles on post-it notes.

Pandemic love

4 Apr

“Greater love has no-one than this: to lay down their life for their friends.”

It’s nearly Easter and these words sprung to mind again. I feel a bit like I have lain down my life right now. I’ve lain down my career, my hobbies, my friends, my mum, my freedom, my snacks, my personal space…

This life right now, sitting in my car just to get ten minutes’ peace, doesn’t feel like my life at all. Not the life I’d worked so hard to craft over the last six months. That one, I have had to lay down…

… For my friends and family who are more vulnerable to this than me. And for strangers too.

It is hard.

It struck me the other day that this response, these billions of people staying home, giving it all up for the sake of the weakest, is an astonishing display of love. A love for everybody in our species, even the ‘least important’ members, that surely doesn’t come from our animal nature. No other creature would do this. We are rebelling against survival of the fittest, against nature’s laws. A rebellion of love.

Greater love has no-one than this. To lay down their livelihood, pleasures, freedoms, and yes, even their life, for their friends and family; for complete strangers.

And I don’t want to do this. Yet not what I will. Love is sacrifice.