People-Watching in Times of Physical Distancing
By Claire McDougall, a participant in the Youth Program. In Her Shoes is thrilled that Claire is continuing to share their writing journey with us!
It's unbelievably hard to focus on the positive right now but I'm trying to count my blessings. I know people who, for the first time ever, have the time and space to work on their passions. People are making art and music and noise against the big wide silence we are all backed against. I am at risk due to preexisting conditions. But I am also playing a Pokemon emulator and FaceTiming people I'd have never called otherwise. I am aggravated that my coworkers are being left in the lurch and that we are left here without word.
But I am also aware that every time I've asked for patience, they have stepped up and offered me as much time and help as I need. For every person I see fighting over supplies, there's two who are offering theirs to shelters, who are volunteering, who work endless hours providing supplies. Many of us are in such dire circumstances that we feel like discarded rats, trapped and screaming. But I am reminding myself - even rats know to hold their hand out for each other.
No, the media does not like this narrative. It is not good for ratings. It is better to say we are crumbling as a society for them; they need the views regardless of how much panic they incite. This is okay. I know in my heart. For all that things are coming apart, people are doing what we have always, always, always been best at. We are a tiny mammal species with badly designed backs. We still put paint on cave walls and called each other home and taught our young to dance. We made safe and we made gentle and we told ghost stories. We kept legends and sang glories. They will tell you this was not necessary. But of course it was. The real nature of humanity is to spread our joy, our love, our hope. One at a time in tiny candles. It is the nature of people to light every endless night. To hold hands. To offer up.
I cannot see you. I am sorry you are lonely. But here am I and here are you and we are both scared. It is growing dark, but tell me your story or show me your drawing. We can both say - isn't it so wonderful to be reminded? We were always in love with each other. Look up. Tell us how we can be of help.