Has gravity gone missing?
Imagine a fist full of marbles thrown in the air, released from the palm with an upward thrust. Now imagine they don't fall down. They're just hanging there, mid-air. Not going up not coming down. Paused. My cousin brother's wedding, a friend's engagement, my plans to finish my masters and make prototypes – all these plans have now come to a halt due to the corona virus.
Will I have a job next year? Will there be jobs? For the foreseeable future, there isn't one.
Its unnerving, this uncertainty. Our lives have always been uncertain and unpredictable. But we've never had to confront it this way.
Until last week, I thought this whole COVID situation was temporary - 'A few months and everything will be back to normal'. Call it denial, ignorance, hope, optimism, whatever; when the bubble popped, I became anxious and upset. I got an email from my college on Monday, that the next semester will be conducted online entirely. That shook me. It suddenly dawned on me that this was not temporary. I started worrying about things that were out of my control and felt frustrated being stuck at home all day. The whole of last week, I moped a lot; gazing out of my window, venting to my friends, sighing loudly now and then.
On Wednesday evening, walking on the terrace, I saw birds flying around in the sky. Not everything had come to a standstill. Some aspects of the 'usual' still carried on.
Watching the birds, pushed me into a some kind of awareness.
The birds that fly in the sky have little control over the wind, the cities below it, predators and what not. The list of things it cannot control are outweigh the list of things it can. But it continues to do what little it can. Flap its wings and fly. As long as its flapping, its moving, unencumbered by the external.
I thought about the little things in my life that I could do. I had time and lots of it. I took out my brushes and paint and got back to painting. I read some books and caught up on my sleep. I made myself a bowl of maggi at midnight and slurped it down. It felt great!
To me, the only things I can do irrespective of whats happening outside my door are my art and food. So I got back to making them. The more I got engaged in the activity and the more I immersed myself in them, the better I felt.
If each of us does the smallest thing we can, maybe the larger things will take care of itself.
Here's hope, from me to you. Pass it on :)
P.S: For the creatives feeling anxious and stuck in these troubled times:
'Make. Good. Art. Make it on the good days. Make it on the bad days'
~Neil Gaiman (Graduation speech, watch it here)