Classically Inclined

January 23, 2021

The way we live now

Filed under: Meta — lizgloyn @ 9:56 am
Tags:

It is exhausting, the way we live now,
and I am one of the lucky ones.
Whatever luck means, in the midst
of chaos.

I reply to e-mails, to invitations,
to things which might have sparked joy
in the before-times.
No, no, no, no, certainly not,
yes – but not yet.
I question my decisions, but
they have to be made.

I confuse my time zones
for a commitment made a thousand years ago
in November,
and sit, waiting to be admitted to a Zoom meeting
which has already moved on without me,
crushed by the unnoticed slippage of an hour.

I record videos, smiling blithely at the green light –
record, embed, caption, upload,
record, embed, caption, upload.
I teach to black squares with initials, to faces
against uncomfortably personal backgrounds,
rooms I have no right to be in
and which I try to ignore.

I stay up late (too late)
editing, marking, pouring out effort
which I would have rejoiced in
during the before-times, but now
comes from a well which has run decidedly dry.

I learn a curriculum which I thought
I had left well behind me.
Pounds and pence without the shillings,
shapes in varying dimensions,
the formation of the letter d.
The waterproof properties of materials must be investigated;
the kitchen floor is flooded.
I refuse to be apologetic
about my second full-time job.

Do not mistake me –
there are joys, smiles, laughter.
Having dinner together every night,
the weekly family film,
the silly imaginative games.
The students thriving under these circumstances,
growing towards the light despite everything.

But there is no let up, and no respite,
and even paradise becomes tiring
without variety, or the space
to be lonely, to be bored.

In the midst of this chaos,
whatever luck means –
I am one of the lucky ones,
and it is exhausting, the way we live now.

1 Comment »

  1. Oh my gosh, you are so right – are my memories of the past, a simpler and unconeccted world really through rose coloured spectacles? Whatever happened to Tomorrows World view that the problem with the future is that we wouldn’t be able to fill all the free time we would have,

    I like the way you have mentioned that some students are thriving under these conditions. I love optimism but when I remember my experience of not being able to concentrate even waiting for an essay to be marked, and the longer I waited the more distracted I became, I have no idea how I would perform now, pull on my Stoics cap I suppose. So, hat tip to them and to you – I am in awe.

    Comment by Classicalstudiesman — January 23, 2021 @ 11:52 am | Reply


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