Covid moodswings

The weather is beautiful. Living in the country, I can go cycling, and afterwards I sat in the back yard and had lunch. I met my new neighbour and his daughter, who is four, as they played together with bouncy-balls. He is an essential worker.

I sat in the sun yesterday as well. My upstairs neighbour, whom I have not met yet, occasionally kicked tiny stones off the flat roof. None landed on me, some landed near, and I wondered about going up and telling him off. I don’t know if he knew I was there. Especially after my friend was burgled for food4fuxache! Burgled for food!- this led me to paranoid thoughts appearing reasonable. It is the covid 19 lockdown, I thought, people will be angry and will be looking for a cat to kick, and the first resource will be us queers. Thank God simply being queer is no longer an excuse as it was in the nineties, but they will imagine excuses for hostility easily.

After the isolation was announced- only essential workers can go out to work, others can work from home if they can, I can go out for one period of exercise a day, and once for essential shopping as infrequently as possible, and as far as I am concerned my common yard is staying at home- I thought, well, actually, I feel quite good. There are rules, which give a false feeling of certainty. My comfort is old male Doctor Who. It’s not that I have anything against Jodie Whittaker, but I find Chris Chibnall mean and repulsive- I like mild threat and horror, but his situations are horrid rather than horrific. Spoiler for the latest episode: Time Lord cybermen in the wreck of the citadel are the last straw.

I want to talk to people. My friend proposed a video chat this morning then could not, as she had crises to deal with, and I was disappointed. So I went cycling, and paid attention to the beauty of grass, trees, sunshine- the sun sparkling on what I will call a brook by the road, though some might call it a drainage ditch. The rapid change of experience on these back roads, as they go up and down over the downs, among trees then open farmland. I paid attention to my momentary experience rather than fearful projections of what might happen. There was the effort of climbing hills and exhileration of descents.

Added: next day I went to the supermarket and got spaghetti, rice, fresh meat and fruit, bread and milk. I felt anxious, queuing up at the checkout. One of my anxieties was being picked on as trans. I stood and noticed the anxiety, and consciously accepted it, and then it bothered me less.

I took a lot of photos at that camp in 2012, and one of them has resurfaced. At the time, it might have been thought unflattering or uninteresting, but now it contains just the right level of seriousness.

And now, here’s today’s little drop of sunshine from ThĂ©odore GĂ©ricault.

4 thoughts on “Covid moodswings

  1. Your last pic made me think of losing heads, which prompted me to think of Kipling’s “If.” I hadn’t read it for decades, but it was interesting to re-read it as a trans woman during these uncertain times. It all fits, except that I can’t relate to the last line…

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    • It’s a strange poem, where the hero pledges all his winnings on one throw of the dice. There are more ways of being an admirable human. But if “All around are losing their [heads] and blaming it on you” there are few men.

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  2. Lots of people are writing lsolation journals.. mine would just say spent too much time anxiously on social media – again! None of my planned creative or house-clearance activities acheived. Occasional walk with a friend at 2 metres distance from eachother around local park!

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    • Do not be harsh on yourself. I find I can motivate myself to do something if I know it is worthwhile. That something will make me feel better is worthwhile, but facing the uncertainty, the small but non-zero risk of death, the greater risk of suffering unpleasant symptoms including breathlessness, the requirements of social distancing, I find it harder to see that cleaning will make me feel better. It’s the kind of thing I think I ought to do, which does not motivate me at all. Creation is motivated by love.

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