SOL March 23rd What I Want To Say Is

What I want to say is…

That all is well. I mean, under the circumstances. Considering that we’ve all been told by our respective governments to go home and stay there, I guess things are going OK. I notice that my family is more relaxed than I thought we’d be. We’re not at each others’ throats (yet). There’s a kind of pandemic good will bonus floating in the air that also flows through our apartment. We have everything we need, no one in our immediate circle is ill, we’re fine.

What I want to say is…

My mind is busy although I am loving one of my current reads, How To Do Nothing by Jenny Odell. She doesn’t mean doing nothing in any absolute sense, she talks about ways and reasons to extricate ourselves from the attention economy, not for all time but for periods and moments. To “stand apart” even as we participate; to stay aware and observant of the hows and whys of our engagement and where that leads and for whom. My mind eats up these lines of thinking. I’m a greedy co-thinker. In these odd days of isolation(?), I am getting closer to what doing nothing might look like; getting a feel for what it might feel like if I let myself actively do nothing. (Yes, I love irony.)

What I want to say is…

My body. My body is getting more rest and recovery than ever before. I exercise more often and differently than if I were teaching PE M-F. This is all exercise at will. It’s exercise that I choose. Walk or run? Walk, then run? Dance, lift, balance, breathe. It’s a rare luxury. And the joys of showering long without a lot of rush or urgency. Hot water calms me, I can be alone without guilt. There are no questions about taking a shower.

What I want to say is…

I feel a little guilty talking about the things that are good. I mean, this situation is weird but it’s not horrible. I feel bad for those who cannot get what they need: care, food, work, income, support, refuge. I ask myself what I can do from here to help mitigate those hurts and harms.

What I want to say is…

this slice feels about done. As if I have emptied my sack of worries and thoughts onto the page and spread them out, given them a little air and sunlight.

What I want to say is…

On my walk/run, on an uphill bit near the beginning when I thought about jogging but decided that walking was fine and more of what I wanted and needed, I thought to myself, I do this not to strain but to release. Yes, to release, to let go and free up. The strain and struggle are not the point, are not necessary to reach satisfaction. It’s the release of pent up energies that need to ramble; of eyes hungry for wider vistas. Not to strain, but to release. Like writing.

12 thoughts on “SOL March 23rd What I Want To Say Is

  1. There is a slow-down that happens, but it takes days (I find) to get there, to really get there, and understand that the different rhythm will present a different view of the hours of these days. (And, well, you certainly picked yourself a themed book for the times)
    Kevin

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  2. I love so much about this – from the “kind of pandemic good will bonus floating in the air” to “emptied my sack of worries and thoughts onto the page and spread them out, given them a little air and sunlight.” You’ve nailed it – this is a time of release. We should not feel guilty about seeking and finding the good, for it’s there … as for irony: How is it that a pandemic should foster such a time of healing as this?

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  3. Love the expressions: pandemic good will, greedy co-thinker, emptied my sack of worries. You have captured our feelings of isolation while not giving up on hope. What a compelling slice today. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  4. This line popped out at me: “I do this not to strain but to release.” It’s funny because I almost didn’t sign up for the SOL challenge this month, thinking it would push me into the land of strain. Now it’s been one of my greatest releases during this challenging time. I also loved your image of airing out your thoughts and worries. Thanks for sharing this reflective post.

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  5. Oh wow. I love the structure and the content of this and it feels so familiar – I, too, am exercising more but feeling the strain on my body less. I, too, am feeling guilty for taking some pleasure in this forced internment. Your writing has captured so much of what hovers about our collective consciousness and it makes me believe in some invisible force. I am marvelling at your skill and wisdom and thinking how necessary your writing has become, and not just for you.

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  6. “not to strain, but to release” Yes. This will be my mantra – for a while (maybe along with nostalgia). So much of what you write here is where I am in my better moments, though my house never really got much of a “pandemic good will bonus”. Thanks for letting us into your thinking – and for guiding me, your greedy co-thinker, in the direction of release.

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  7. Each day I spend so much time thinking about “what I want to say,” and it’s because writing allows me to let it all go into the paper. When 2020 started I vowed to workout at least 30 minutes every day, and that routine has served me well so far. I developed several at home workout plans and a few at the gym. My gym is still open, but I stopped going almost two weeks ago. I’m glad you mentioned “How to Do Nothing.” I read it a few months ago and love it. I’m noticing things I’ve done the past few months that have prepared me for this time, and I had no clue that was happening.

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  8. I love the intention that “what I want to say” implies. I think it welcomes vulnerability and honesty. When we are in this state of such unpredictability, taking care of ourselves and working out can help us with all the nervous energy. I appreciated the part about the walking vs. running. I did the same yesterday. Keep the balance. We are all trying to.

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  9. My thoughts mirrored your own, as I read this post. It feels weird to be grateful, yet we are. We feel guilt in our gratitude, aware of the privileges we have. wondering how to ameliorate the needs of others while still keeping this social distance. Is this a problem we can just throw money at? I don’t know…All activity today seems to be a release of what I cannot control, a need to make good use of this time we’re given.

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