Isolation is a strange thing. We are in “quarantine”, or at least we are supposed to be, all of us. I find that people are so stressed about being isolated that I am bombarded with invitations to zoom meetings, talks, confabs and telephone calls. I like that I am able to “see” some people I ordinarily don’t get to see, that I am connecting or reconnecting with people I don’t ordinarily talk to often, or at all. I like feeling in touch. But it is an odd kind of in touch. Nevertheless, I am overwhelmed.
When I am stressed I tend to isolate anyway, and so physical isolation is hard for me. I am single, so there is nobody to fight with, talk to, vent on or sleep with. My roommate is still working and has a life, and a partner, of her own. She leaves here in mere days and then the silence will echo even louder. I am cleaning, cooking, mending, fixing, watering – a lot. I am trying to keep busy with chores at home. My plants look beautiful because unlike the usual sporadic neglect I can tend them every day or every other. My house is ridiculously clean, my laundry always done.
I sing at the piano, I fortunately have a large stack of reading and I am chewing through it steadily, I watch too much TV, I am working on paperwork projects that I have put off for years and, yes, I am trying to write. I find myself oddly resistant to sitting still. So writing is hard. Sitting still makes me feel sad, and lumpy and not well. Hard to articulate it, so that’s the best I can do.
I normally live a busy, full life with a calendar full of events, appointments, rehearsals, classes. And so my house feels like sanctuary when I am able to spend time at home, alone. It feels like a warm bath at the end of a busy day. Right now the house feels like confinement. I go out for a walk, I take my coffee and a book on the lanai in the morning but the walls still feel like a boundary that I am not supposed to cross.
I find myself talking to the cat too much, sometimes he seems to understand. Ridiculous I know. But he is happy to have me home and we have settled into a new routine which includes his being spoiled rotten now that he is an only furbaby.
Isolation also gives me an opportunity to focus on meditation, prayer. The flip side of sitting still is sitting still. Allowing my mind to quiet, to reflect on my life generally and not just in the day to day. That can be painful sometimes but the learning is a growing process. Growing is always painful but the end result is self-awareness which is a good thing and leads me to good things.
In the end I know that gratitude is the panacea for all negative feelings. At the moment I have a beautiful prison with a peaceful and serene outdoor space. I have a safe neighborhood to walk in. I can pay my bills for the moment. I have enough to eat. Everyone I love is safe and healthy for now. Everything else is just dross. I am lucky.