It seems impossible to impose order on life right now and order is necessary to focus on the work. No doubt this is partly due to emerging from lockdown. Suddenly the respite from life’s everyday imposts vanishes. But this is not just a post-pandemic issue (needless to say, the pandemic is still here, it’s just that in Melbourne we’re protected from it, as least for now). Something more fundamental is at stake.
See, the heart of the matter is that I have, once more, lost sight of the big stuff. And now I’m being reminded. Sickness and suffering around me renders me sad, but I’ve forgotten to find purpose from that, the purpose of caring and love. Injury is softening and fattening me, and I’ve misremembered how the effort to exercise – the huffing, the sweating, the pain – is itself the reward. I’m sleeping in – fuck that, Andres, just wake up! I’m hiding from the world by indulging in culture – reading, listening, and watching, then reviewing. In lockdown, hiding worked. It no longer does. I’ve abandoned a project (15 Cranes) at the core of my being – did I err? I’ve stopped promoting my murder mysteries.
Yesterday I walked back from the city, 8 kilometers, a distance I once would have considered a doddle, even after early morning running. I’m aching but every ache is an education and a preparation for a fresh season of hiking to come. Yesterday seven of us XR soldiers circled a busy intersection on the green lights, chanting “we’re peaceful and united, we’re here for the children too” and carrying the XR banners (“Tell the truth,” “Act now,” “Beyond politics”). All week I’d been anxious about this mild, non-confrontational action. We were a water drop in an ocean but half an hour in, I felt a surge of restorative anger: since my arrest a year ago, Australia has done nothing.
Lockdown had been my vacation. Vacation’s over, Andres. Time to act, write, and love.