The true crime in the Covid 19 nightmare is the removal from all, excepting from those living in the eye of the storm and who seem to be revelling in thier new found fame and power, of the ability to forward think, to plan, to dream.
A few years back mindfulness was a real big thing. Marina Abramovic was counting, and with great attention, grains of rice, deeply involving herself in the repetive process in order to demonstrate the meditational power locked up in such banal and utterly futile tasks. At the same time apps became available that helped guide the user through a midfulness experience. Idiot teachers engaged thier students in midfulness without ever considering the effects or providing support for the consequences of opening up young peoples minds to cherry picked and pseudo religious esotericism.
And now, whether we like it or not, we are all having to be mindful. There is not a great deal else for most of us left to do.
Mindfulness seeks to have us truly live in and actively experience the moment. It’s in this near trance state that we can find peace and a meaningful enjoyment of all things. For me, however, I find counting a near endless supply of rice, grain by grain, a wholly wasteful use of my time. I get enjoying washing up, feeling the warm water made silky by the detergent glide over my skin, the repetitive action of scouring or wiping. But I only get it for a moment. All of the other collectivised moments at the sink I am thinking on a world of ‘stuff’ that is not washing up and I am washing furiously so as to be at them and not at ‘this’.
It will not surprise you then that I believe mindfulness an aboration, a technique that was trendy for a bit and now is hardly mentioned. It will not surprise you then that I believe that the natural human condition is one of residing in the future, one of planning and dreaming and scheming and working towards.
And that is what they have stolen. The stop start of lockdown, the restrictions being imposed and lessened and tightened, the fear levels starting at medium and going to very high (we’re now way beyond very high), all of these measures have conspired to wash away our hopes for the future and remove from within us any confidence to schedule, to book, to mark off future dates in our diaries with planned in events.
And now, just today, despite the promose that there wouild be no vaccination travel passes… Yes, they are on thier way…
And so I must accept that I will, at least for the foreseeable future, not be able to travel abroad, not be able to visit cities or indeed to go shopping and for some time to come not be able to plan or deliver my business’ services, guided walks and life models (not at the same time) and so earn an income. It’s like I am being forced by my government to be like Marina. I am having to become mindful as each day becomes more and more like the previous. The dog walks are done to death now. The dog is bored of them as am I. They have become mechanical, done because they have to be done and done for the steps.
It’s perhaps strange to think this, but I do. And pehaps it isn’t strange as you might just think it too. And I don’t want to belittle those who have suffered from Covid. I never do. The most painful, most difficult to deal with bit of the Covid crisis for me is not being able to look at my calendar for 2021 and plan in trips away in the van, holidays local and further afield, to look forward to a summer in France lying naked in the sun and to plan in walking trips and expeditions to Tenerife or Iceland or Bavaria. Sometimes those trips happen and sometimes they do not. They are my dreams and those dreams of adventures litter my future and make living exciting and colourful and memorable. Or at least they used to brighten my calendar. Right now, my calendar is blank and the dreams are gone.
I’m not being dramatic. This psychological attack on us has stolen, and in part or wholly, perhaps for good, what I believe is the brightest piece, the actual essence of what it is to be human.
Those barstards have stolen my dreams and I’ll never ever forgive them…