THE NATURE OF TIME [by mariafokas]
How did we get to this dire point; not all at once, I suppose, but bit by bit, being too busy with life; drunk with regrets of the past and manipulated into worrying about the future. I don’t know what stand to take today. I tried writing this post so many times, stopped, and started, and stopped, and then back to the keyboard – and all I accomplished was to exhaust myself; you’d think it were a love letter, where I struggle to find the perfect words to make it work; while hiding the gore of bodies piling up without end as we speak –
Going back to the beginning of this virus, I started gathering information, believing it would help me and my loved ones. I watched and read everything about this novel virus. I even had an opinion about how governments of countries are handling it, and responding to it, and soon enough it began to take me hostage; it had become an addiction; collecting all the news this virus was creating. The stories I came across were endless; the mistakes and delays of the world health organization, the secret agendas of governments, Bill Gates and the Rockefellers involved in promoting it, conspiracy theories, a novel supposedly written in 1981 predicting it; and then I put my two-cents in too… what if just maybe, E.M. Forster predicted our restricted lives due to this virus, in his short story, The Machine Stops, (1909), and just maybe, the Titanic had also been predicted in Morgan Robertson’s novella The Wreck of the Titan (1898). And was it the iceberg that took 1500 lives, or was it the delayed response, and ignorance to the iceberg? But, does any of this solve the problem?
I listened to people complaining about having to stay home. Could they not see the devastating alternative; images around the world of hospitals in chaos, doctors forced to decide who lives and who dies. Dead bodies in New York, stacked up in 18 wheeler-truck-fridges. A nurse in Italy, calling it the lonely flu; people dying all over the world without any hope for recovery; isolated without their loved ones to hold their hand in their final moment; to be reminded that THEY WERE LOVED! This virus has exposed the weaknesses in our system, our weakness to prepare, our weakness to prevent and to prevail – I think about our response to this virus; our delayed actions, and ignorance; the crack in our health system due to the governments we voted for; or didn’t even bother voting; too busy that day; giving away our greatest power of voice.
I listened to President Trump telling the American people that it was going to go away like a miracle, I heard Boris Johnson claiming that there was no need for restrictions; business as usual; we’d eventually become immune to it; Turkmenistan’s government claiming it doesn’t exist and, making it illegal to utter the word “coronavirus” or you’ll be arrested. The world health organization not only took too long to declare it a Pandemic, but they also informed us that there was no true evidence of human to human transmission, on January 14th – And China kept too quiet about the information that would have saved lives.
But I will not search for more to blame. I closed my door to the fear this virus has been spreading; the kind of fear that makes us weaker. I began to feel the stillness I was forced to bear and noticed the voice inside my head; words not mine, but nevertheless, coming from me; regurgitations of the outside world telling me, all the things I should believe and should be doing and should be wanting. And I stopped! I was not going to waste any more time –
These stay-at-home restrictions haven’t been taking time away from us; they’ve been giving it back to us. Having to live hour-to-hour, I realize that all I have in this world is that hour; that moment to moment that flows through me, and what I choose to do with that moment, determines everything. . . “God give me the wisdom to know the difference.” –
So, I wonder about the universal values of today – how do we make choices; on the basis of what? Yes, 95% of the information out there is a lie, so what is the truth? The truth might be that it will go away and that we will continue our lives regardless of how it has affected each and every one of us. We will gather the data and analyze the outcome – and there will be much talk and more blame but the crime will never be solved; and then soon after, we may forget.
Or we can decide to wrap our arms around the only thing that truly belongs to us – the present moment in time – not the past – not the future – only that precious moment; the one thing no one can take away from us; the most precious commodity we give away, in exchange for a deception; a promise for a “better” future waiting to be obtained. Aren’t the past and the future merely labels to define illusions; an anchor holding us back and, a promise of a holy grail at the end of the tunnel, in exchange for our lives?
Having to give up my freedom for a brief moment in time ended up saving me from an empty life filled with goals but no essence. This stillness made me aware of how numb I had become, and how I completely took my existence for granted; using myself to make ends meet, instead of experiencing life as a means to an end. So do I want to go back to that life, when the restrictions have been lifted; do we go back to the life this virus momentarily took away from us, or, when this is all over, do we make it better?
The Nature of Time by (c) Maria Fokas April 5/2020 (Thankyou Maria)
Artwork – “Ceidefields” by (c) Barrie Maguire, (published with permission of the Artist, Thankyou Barrie)
Maria has also written a poem, which is kind of a “companion” to this writing, you can find it here –
Thanks to Maria Fokas, for this guest blog, which I’m EXTREMELY proud to publish. She’s lovely person and would highly recommend visiting her at her blog.
Hope you are safe and stays that way.