It will be good to get back to normal but what is normal? Life before the first lockdown to shake hands was a matter of friendliness and good manners and social distancing was an unknown, constant hand washing could have been considered a phobia to be treated as a physiological problem and hiding your face behind a mask might indicate criminal intent. At the beginning of the first lockdown as a member of the much older generation I was approached on the telephone by a local organisation and on the assumption that I would be self -isolating I was asked if I would like to have my shopping done for me. My home is little more than a hundred yards from a small and very friendly Co-op store so, having established that I was allowed to do my own shopping I declined the offer. Wearing the mandatory face mask and keeping to the two meters apart now entitled ‘social distancing’ I walked down the road every day to pick up the newspaper and essential food. I was part of the living world.
Lockdown could have been an asset, day after day with no social commitments, days free of interruption. I should have been able to dream up a new and fascinating plot and written at least one if not two novels of undeniable brilliance but inspiration and drive seemed to have joined hands and gone for their own holiday, even mundane tasks around the house needed an energy that just wasn’t there. Human beings are social creatures, a knock on the door breaking into a line of creative thought, stopping for a cup of tea with a neighbour who needs to unburden concerns that have become overwhelming or knowing at a point of personal crisis that there is someone nearby or ready on the end of a telephone to listen prevents the onset of loneliness or a dangerous build-up of emotional crisis.
I have no wish to go back, I look forward to the day when we no longer have to hide our faces behind masks but can see and return smiles and enjoy love and laughter and put out a hand in friendship.
In the coming months I hope to catch up on the ambitions that I failed to realise during this period of lock down and rediscover the creative energy that I had before. Loneliness is a Killer, the third in the Greyhound Trilogy is almost ready to be launched into the world, my ukulele needs to be released from the corner where it has been gathering dust and if anyone is using Scrivener on an iPad I’d love to hear from you – I’m still struggling. Life should be an adventure!