31957: Lockdown Freedom
At first I didn't sleep. I woke dry mouthed and aching in the middle of night to check the news for some key piece of information I worried I missed. I worried about my family away from home. I worried about my family at home. I worried for my friends. I worried for the people I knew and the people I didn't. I worried about how the panic of strangers might make them behave. I worried about queuing, about how to ask for more space. I worried if there would be enough. Except, every time I've left my house there was enough. I've had strangers say more to me across the walls of their gardens and through their open kitchen windows than I've ever noticed before. I've had more greetings shouted at me from a distance than I know what to do with. I've noticed the moon. I've seen more art. I've read poetry. I've had discussions with strangers about more than the weather. I've watched my friends dance in the street. I've learnt to ask for more space and felt relief at voicing what I need. I've lost my phone and not noticed. I haven't spent money on things I don't need. I've argued about the influence of Jimi Hendrix until 2am. I've made mushroom risotto. I've painted. I've consulted on the cardboard Taj Mahal my young neighbour is presently erecting. I've watched my mum nail an improvised wooden rainbow to the gate like it really mattered. And then suddenly it did matter, because everyone walking their dogs or escaping their children, talked to us about it on their way past. I've started to accept the worry, the feelings of anxiety and confusion. I recognised I never could escape those before lockdown anyway. I think I might have found the freedom in captivity, in the people I already love and the things I already have.
[The submission also pointed readers to 'Everything is Waiting for You' by David Whyte available at: https://www.davidwhyte.com/english-poetry#Everything]