They are the beautiful pieces of the COVID19 Pandemic. Making us laugh and keep track of time both of our waking and sleeping. They are the mirrors of this thing called the new normal. We have pulled out our round cameras to take those rectangular frames. And how we love them!
We were grounded at home and we had to learn living at home. Staying indoors to be precise. There’s nothing that has ever proved to be as hard. Imagine finding it hard to stay in the very house you work so hard to afford the rent but not knowing how to stay in it with ease!
We pulled out our tools-of-trade and began zooming in. The internet was overwhelmed and it literally cried and rolled in the mud. Some left their work at the work place and all there was to do was to watch movies.
The house got hot. TV became a bore. The need for fresh content became a strain for the producers. Even the zoom meetings were no longer as fun and interesting. First we muted video and then audio, now unless it is so important, zoom too can wait. The internet too should breathe. At once we were all online reactivating our social media accounts and opening new ones to occupy time. It worked before we rolled up our sleeves again this time running to the kitchen.
Oh God, meals!! Food. We had recipes; tried out new dishes, burnt some food and somehow we survived with a few upsets.
Shorts and t-shirts have never had such a busy routine. Working overtime. I wonder what the pairs of trousers and them shirts and suits think of us. “Were we abandoned?” “What did we ever do to them?” There is silence in the wardrobe.
Even the shoes are complaining. The polish sleeps on untouched. No one cares at all. A few do— the essential ones. The rest of us, our shoes might deny us when we go back to wearing them. Maybe they’d be too tight to fit. Who knows? They could be having weeds by now.
The moon has brilliantly loved on us and this time round, we have noticed. And appreciated. We have been here and taken in the things we never knew we ever would. We have painted life with abandoned brushes that we barely knew we even ever possessed.
We stopped. Went out and took beautiful photos of the mighty wonder of life- the sun, capturing the glory of its rising and the exuberance of its setting. We got new names. New friends. New clans like the sunset crew.
Under the clear blue skies, we brought the picnics to our compounds, bringing the blankets and wine within our compounds. We met with neighbours and deliberately said “hi”. The many empty bottles are testimony to that. And when the clouds slept, we entered and turned up the tables, making the party happen in our living rooms. We created teams that affectionately supported especially those weekend dance parties, the ghetto or the hotel?
And in the Sunday mornings, we set up the living room again to catch up with the Sunday service for spiritual nourishment.
In all this, we have talked more on phone. Followed up on the status updates and posts on Facebook and twitter. We have connected with many our eyes have never met. And to them, we poured our all, the joys of “I received…” and the sorrows of “We regret to inform you…”
We are stronger together. Like after every journey, there are repairs to make. Relationships to mend and hopes to guard.
Above all, we are grateful for the life in isolation. The lone moments and the pleasure to connect with the universe, the people and ourselves. We continue to live and learn in this thing called the new normal.
Feature image by Raymond Mujuni