During the virus years we would trade sourdough starters and kimchi, jam and bread and stranger concoctions, sneaking over garden walls to leave them on doorstops and windowsills. A quick wave, a prohibited flash of friendship, before we were off again on our deliveries. They were small gifts, it’s true – but they spread through the cities silently, like threads.
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Gratitude and inspiration to fiction what the future holds, mined from Kelvin Mason's story 'Future Imperatives (Take 2)'. Kelvin is a far braver writer than I am - and he (and comrades) have a recent book out!
The virus we face here is fear, whether it is fear of Covid-19, or fear of the totalitarian response to it, and this virus too has its terrain. Fear, along with addiction, depression, and a host of physical ills, flourishes in a terrain of separation and trauma: inherited trauma, childhood trauma, violence, war, abuse, neglect, shame, punishment, poverty, and the muted, normalized trauma that affects nearly everyone who lives in a monetized economy, undergoes modern schooling, or lives without community or connection to place. This terrain can be changed, by trauma healing on a personal level, by systemic change toward a more compassionate society, and by transforming the basic narrative of separation: the separate self in a world of other, me separate from you, humanity separate from nature. To be alone is a primal fear, and modern society has rendered us more and more alone. But the time of Reunion is here. Every act of compassion, kindness, courage, or generosity heals us from the story of separation, because it assures both actor and witness that we are in this together.
Charles Eisenstein, ‘The Coronation’
If you are able to work from home, relatively free of anxiety about your job and so far untouched by either illness or death, isolation might come with compensations: you may, indeed, be living the Sunday-supplement lockdown dream of craft projects with the kids and demolishing your backlog of novels. But that is the experience of a tiny minority, even if it is informing some of the media’s apparent neglect of what so-called lockdown actually means for millions of people…
John Harris, Guardian, ‘For millions, lockdown is not novels and quality family time but food parcels and hardship’