When it was the summer, I was often out laying on my back in the sun. I felt like a snake basking in the sun with its holy warmth thawing my skin. Lockdown can often make us feel like reptiles, I think. We slither out from whichever dark space we have spent our hours that day, to move in front of a different source of light.
In the sun, I looked up at the trees blowing like paint strokes across the sky. And then I felt the feeling I could no longer ignore. Energy housed in my belly that screamed frustration and discontent. An energy that wanted me to unroll my limbs and find a new place to explore and socialise in. There was nowhere to go. Nowhere to run to, no way for me to lift this energy out of me and push it into the outside world.
I lay in the sun, and saw a spider. It was a tiny smudge against the blue. Long, desperate webs trailed from its body like a single stitch that bore witness to the little life hurtling through the sky. Rather than fix him in a physical place, this web stitched the spider into my mind. I often come back to him.
Like many things in my life, I started to obsess about this spider. This tiny smudge in the sky who had so much freedom. It was literally flying. Legs splayed out, probably screaming, terrified that it would be eaten by a dark eyed squawking fiend. But still: flying.
I started to spin out in my head, blown by winds of passion and confusion that this tiny ball of energy could stream through the sky with a sail of webs behind him. And I was… locked in, locked out, locked down. Something I could not see, feel, touch, hear or smell was dictating my life, and every other humans’. My world, like everyone else’s had shrunk in an infinitely fragile way. A way that was so fragile, that a spider’s web gently streaking across could crack the glass.
I knew in that moment that I would not last through lockdown with this ball of feisty energy in me. I knew that this energy would be the end of me. If I allowed myself to be energetic and need other people’s energy to fuel it, I would burn out and find lockdown tremendously hard.
I began to listen to calmer music. A simple act that calmed my energy. I stopped drinking alcohol as much, because it simply excited me. Simple moments that helped. I tended to plants, that gently, slowly changed under my care.
When I saw old friends, they did tell me that I had changed. Yet when they said it, their forehead’s skin rippled and buckled at my new nature. I thought I would be met with love. Like many things in my life, I started to obsess about this moment. A little spider flew across my imagination, and his web spelt out REALISATION.
I chose adaptation rather than frustration. I chose peace over anger. I chose to relax, rather than tense up.
Remarkably, humans have adapted since this virus erupted all over the planet. There will be a time for energy. There will be a time where I will reach up to the sky to confidently catch a cloud again. But until then, I will not be energy, I will be water. Or a slow growing ivy with hope in its heart, for reaching the sky.