Freshly brewed coffee early morning in the many coffee shops comes to mind. These places had a characteristic feel about them. The sounds and clouds of steam around the machines marked a normal morning. In the flow of urban life these markers became signals of daily life happening around us. I didn’t see them over the last two months. Neither do I see them now, having moved to a rural area. We don’t even have coffee shops here. Travel and living in cities shaped that sense of the world around. It is interesting to see oneself thinking of such mornings during these days. They say, it is only when you don’t have something any longer that you realise what it meant when it was present. In a way living is mostly about this after-the-fact nature. This diary is a reflection. Its core is retrospective.
What does a ‘looking forward’ mode look like? Will it spare us the trouble of memories and experiences of the past? Does it help in casting a fresh eye on matters of the day and live the oncoming experiences well, unblemished by conditionings of the past? I am thinking of these questions because we need an alternative to retrospection. How do new ideas and perspectives make their way in, if all we do is keep looking back?
The struggle these days is to find enough time to read and write a few notes at the end of the day. Routine gets thrown off every day. Time has stopped expanding as it did during the stricter lockdown days. Work and people are pilfering time away from what is intended to be a lockdown. In a way, things are loose now.
Threat of the virus remains the same as it was earlier. A complete immersion into the pandemic for more than ten weeks has led to a numbing. Deaths are numbers that demonstrate success or failure of the state depending on whether they increased fast or slow or along expected lines. Illness too. It has moved from being fear to an inconvenience for many. We do not hear of those grieving. For now, it is our offices, pending work, upcoming work and the usual miscellaneous-ness of life. There’s repetition in these entries – of major changes that happened, of what the days feel like and the general mood. We are about to hit 70 days. At least, I am glad to have had the opportunity to change location and experience a different place during this global crisis. A week into this change here is what I think – we are made by our locations. Our miseries are sometimes the walls that hold us, the places that we thought were home.