The world as we knew it

I am now, more than I used to, looking around me, and I have this feeling that the world, as we used to know it, is coming to an end. A rough, yet unexpected ending. This pandemic context made me aware of one thing in particular, and this is our tendency to taking everything we’ve had until now for granted.  It is not the end in a biblical way, but rather the ending of a way of living, understanding what happens around us, and reevaluating the ways we cope with everything what happens around us daily. In times like this, the real challenge is to remain calm and sane when everything is shaking.

I see a lot of things happening around, people trying their best to manage this situation they have never experienced before. Some try to follow their old routine as much as they can Some are drowning in anxiety and confusion, being unable to adapt to the new way of doing things. If I can say something about this, it would be that this global issue has put every one of us in front of our friends from the closet. Because we’re only human, after all, and every crisis has the potential to bring up to the table the unsolved issues we’ve been successfully avoiding for so long.

It happened to me as well. I’ve been pushed to revisit and reconsider the way I’ve been placing myself on certain topics. One of them was my homeland. Coming from a small village surrounded by hills, I’ve always wanted to get out of here and never come back. Somehow, this whole thing caught me here, due to some things out of my control, and it took me a few days to understand that this was not a bad thing at all.

Even so, adjusting was hard, as I’ve seen, once again, that all my plans were blown away. This forced me to sit and ask myself Who were you before wanting to have it all at once? and everything became slightly more clear. I’ve seen that there are still things I can do, such as reading outside, in the sunlight. That there are still little joys left.  That slowing down for more than I’ve initially hoped I will have to will, eventually, help me know myself more.

I’ve understood that this is not some form of punishment, but a road meant to reconnect me with the pieces of the puzzle that I’ve lost in my rush. That I can have a taste of the things that used to make my childhood here, in the countryside, pretty. But it also made me aware of the fact that our ultimate survival tool remains gratitude.  It made me understand that I should be grateful for having enough space, living in the countryside, to move freely. That I still have my mother and cats around me. That there are still things to be done here, as the nature doesn’t really care about our whining.

I’ve begun to discover the old ways of doing the things, and that every ending has a little door left open. I understand that there are still little things that can be done, and that no bad shall last forever. Also, I’ve got to understand how important is the way we look at the things we live. Our perspective is a big part of what we’re actually living and what we understand from it.

Only by being grateful and trying to see more in-depth this brutal shift of our daily lives, we can get out of it sane. Because this is the perfect moment to look behind us. To see all the Mondays we didn’t do anything but ask Is it Friday already? and all the times we procrastinated just for the sake of it. Change is hard, is painful, is bringing up to surface all our well-hidden anxieties, but it is, at the same time, so necessary.

We need to get through all this process to finally understand how privileged we have been, and for how long. We have to change the way we live, work and dream so that we will be able to appreciate what used to be our taken for granted normality. We have to dream new dreams and discover new ways of making things work and, above all, we have to understand that slowing down is not a crime.

Because we’ve rushed for too long. We’ve been greedy and ungrateful for too long. And now we’re being forced to unlearn as much as we can these things. We are put in front of a whole new context, and this brings up to me an old phrase from a psychology handbook, saying that Intelligence is the individual’s capacity of adapting to new situations. This means, above anything else, to be able to let go. To reinvent our routines in ways that make life bearable. To keep from our old ways of doing things only the bits that were genuinely bringing us joy as they were also functional. And, last but not least, to relearn how to use technology to connect with the ones we care about, and not only for showing off our personas.

This, too, shall pass, but it doesn’t mean that the world will remain how we used to know it because it won’t. But it means that we have to learn how to be selective in a constructive way. It is the moment when we have to admit, to ourselves in the first place, that individualism won’t bring us any good in the nearby future. To rebuild our communities, to share more openly what brings us joy and what we feel that could be done better.

To spend more time doing things we love, even if it’s reading, listening to music, or calling our loved ones to chit-chat. Now is the later where we’ve stored all our projects, plans and dreams. We can either get intoxicated with fear and uncertainty or try to rip out pieces of what we’ve been postponing for so long and take everything step by step.

Yes, this is a hard time for all of us, and harder times are expected to come. But this is no excuse to let ourselves down once again or to allow ourselves to drown into anxiety and fear. We can do that, but we can, as well, start and accomplish everything we’ve been postponing for some undefined later. Not if we want to get out of this sane and mentally prepared for the good that is to come. Because, yes, things are bad, but this doesn’t mean that there’s nothing good to be expected.

So go and put some water to boil, have some tea, listen to some music. Maybe you will watch a movie, or read a book. You can call your best friend, or your mom, or that person you’re always saying that you’re going to catch up with, but you never do. Or maybe don’t do any of these, and just go to sleep. It doesn’t matter that much. What matters, instead, is how good you’re managing to hold up and stay collected, because now, more than ever, we can see how contagious our emotions are. So let’s just try and be our most responsible, patient, caring and rational selves, at least for a while. This might be the only way out from what tends to feel like a trap for most of us even if it is, ironically, only putting a mirror in front of who we are.

#re

I have everything and I will lose everything,
It happened once and it will happen again,
Says the thought that unravels like smoke
With every deep breath taken, every
Moment of pain that I count as disappearing.
Poof.

I have everything and I will lose everything.
Every single thing that I have upon myself
As dear, beautiful, meaningful, it will,
One day, be gone. A memory
Haunting the nights without the light
And asking me again: What if…?

I have everything and I will lose everything.
This is the curse written deep inside,
On the roots of the soul, where the sun goes to die,
In the cells of my muscles, where life
Throws daily parties, without having a Why?.

I have lost everything after getting to have
Everything.
And I have been rebuilding myself ever since
Don’t promise me everything, or anything at all
If you know, if you do know that
You’re gonna take away from me your gift,
Leave me cold hearted, empty,
I have no heart to rebuild anymore…

I have everything and I will lose everything
This is an obsession dressed as a mantra,
The history of the losses cutting deep into
My skin, my soul and my ambition,
Stealing the start of the story in the sunny day
When I have lost myself for the first time..
Since then,
Everything and anyone else I’m losing
Is just a pale reflection of that breaking point.
Another wound in the cemetery of the unfinished stories
For when the personal history’s just too Heavy to be carried on.

I’ve lost everything and all I have
Are the memories that haunt my mind,
Minute after minute, until the point
Of making my head become a dead place,
Undressed of dreams and colors,
An empty field where nothing ever grows
Anymore. Spinning
Day after day around the same
Three or four sequences that left
Fire traces on the soul
And opened the door to emotions I can’t control

I have everything and I will lose everything,
That’s the only life cycle that I know
And the faithful shadow following everywhere I go.
I am the one who counts losses
Instead of sheep when I try to sleep,
While imagining and recalling all
The ways and the times that I was forced to rebuild,
Just me and that handful of emotions,
Everything left that could be called a life,
Still keeping an eye on the horizon
While remembering now stranger hands
Touching my body and even stranger eyes
Leaving scars on my soul.

Yes, I have everything, but what if
Everything that made life feel alive
Was left in a past where I can not go back anymore?
Does this still count as death, or is it
How everyone else says, just a passenger phase?
How do you know what living from leftovers
Could feel like, when all you have is now?

Yes, I’ve lost everything again,
Trapped in the spiral of the three re:
Remember, relive, relapse
But above all the losses that I count
The ones keeping me up at night
Are just my mind and way to feel
I miss the way they made life real
And hate you for taking away
The little good of every day.