You know how people see themselves flying in their dreams? I’ve never seen that. What I do in my dreams is run.
I either run fast, vaulting over obstacles like I weight nothing and I’ve been a traceuse for centuries, covering distances longer than all the levels of Crash Bandicoot combined, or I’m trying to run but no matter how hard I move my feet, it’s like I’m stuck in molasses and I can barely cover a meter.
This past month has been a mixture of both those feelings simultaneously, no dreaming added.
At the end of February we had a health scare in the family and we had to stay at the hospital for a couple of weeks. Thankfully, things got better by the day. Of course, as soon as we got discharged, stepping carefully on the outside world without waiting for it to crumble around us, the pandemic happened. As of yesterday, Greece is in an official lockdown.
Ironically, I don’t want to talk about the numbing fear of the previous days or how stressful this situation is, what with the suppression of freedoms and the world burning and the economy like *flails hands*. I think I’ve had enough of that, so now I kind of want to unstuck myself from the mud and take a couple of steps. Which isn’t easy, of course, and it’s alright.
Books were always a refuge for me when life became difficult, until, as I grew older, my focus started to crumble along with my mood and then my mind had no road to run to. During these times, I stayed a little trapped inside my own mind without room for escape, which sucked because everything I was working on stayed behind. And then I met poetry, and poetry, fascinatingly enough, didn’t abandon me like my focus. It was there the long nights at the hospital, the hours when my mind wasn’t hospitable, the sweet moments of hope.
My attention lasted for a couple of poems at a time but it was enough to fuel my brain, help it focus a little longer. And then writing came easier because I didn’t have to commit to writing something beyond what I could offer, to a certain amount of words, or plot points. I could pull out my notebook and scribble down a line each time, or an idea, or even a doodle; keeping both my mind and my hands occupied.
For me, who is usually abandoned by any and all creativity when things go wayward, this was an eye-opening experience. I kept writing, I kept reading, and like that, my routine didn’t jump out the window for months. It returned slow and steady.
I’m not ready to start running again; I don’t think anyone is under the pressure that is our current timeline. But, I guess, the thing is that no matter how hard things get taking a break is part of the show. Taking care of ourselves in the midst of whatever is happening is important, especially now, and if slowing down is what needs to happen to get some rest so that we start running again, then we’ll slow down. We’ll put our ass on the bed and take some rest.
Watch a movie, read a poem, or the first paragraph of a book. And if this is hard, it’s alright, just make some tea, cuddle your pet and take a nap. There will always be a road out there for us to walk, run. It can wait to catch our breath.