MOMENTS IN THE TIME OF PANDEMIC - NO. 6

WHEN I THINK BACK ON IT OR SOMEONE ASKS ME ABOUT THE QUARANTINE, I HAVE ONLY A COUPLE OF VIVID MEMORIES...

When something ends - be it a relationship, a job, a trip, or any other experience we can mark with a beginning and an end - it's immediately over whether we like it or not. It moves from the realm of the present into the archive of our minds, and it takes with it our ability to feel as if we can embody who we were before or during the experience. Although it has shaped us, we forget most of it, and only a few moments remain burned into our memories. The Covid -19 quarantine was no exception.
It just ended, but as my reality has once again shifted into something else, it feels like it could have happened years ago. When I think back on it, or someone asks me how I was during the quarantine, I have only a couple of vivid memories of that time. My concept of time changed and at the end of each day I wondered how before the quarantine I ever actually had the time to work and see friends, as I spent great part of the days so busy doing the most normal tasks like laundry and cooking. Being such an enthusiastic extrovert, I guess I learned to settle into my immediate surroundings more peacefully and willingly, without needing (although sometimes craving) the stimulating frenzy of somewhere to be and someone to see. My first "moment" is an extremely normal one, as this seems to be the trend here: I had spent most of my morning washing the fruit and vegetables I ordered and laying them out to dry while my mind wandered easily. I took a photo as I marveled at the layout, feeling like although it wasn't anything to brag or talk about, at that exact moment it was just enough to satisfy my mind, body, and soul.
On a related note, my daughter and I went on walks through the side streets and hidden corners of our neighborhood and marveled at bugs, pretty rocks, wild flowers, the street cats we encountered, and all things natural and seemingly ordinary. We paused and concentrated on the present, and I discovered corners of my neighborhood in Cortona's historic center which I never knew existed. I rediscovered the beauty of this place as if I were seeing it all for the first time. It sounds lame and normal, since I live in an extraordinarily and obviously gorgeous place, but it was anything but lame or normal. I felt such a strong sense of belonging, of wonder, and of being cradled by this ancient safe place I have always called home. This feeling, and my sensory memories of those times, is the second "moment" I take away from the quarantine.
Marialena Maggi, 13/06/2020 17:54:14
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