We are living in a strange world at the moment, one of extremes. It seems that since January I have been playing out in my own mind what exactly this would look like for me. What would it feel like? How could I prepare? The thing is you really can’t. Nothing has quite turned the globe so inside out, like this has.
No headlines, pictures, chart or list could have prepared me to wake up in a city so hallow that my every breath in it echoes. The grey lid of winter has been lifted but Warsaw isn’t melting in the way I have seen before. The defrost button is broken. There are no people roaming the streets, no parties spilling onto sidewalks or picnics being splayed in the parks. I have gone through all the stages, perhaps earlier than my comrades in Poland. In part, because my mind doesn’t rest but mostly because my mind doesn’t rest ever. That being said, I have denied it, ignored it, been scared by it, cried about it and then figured out how I can lean into it and survive this.
First of all, I am someone of privilege throughout this whole ordeal. I am in good health and young (enough) and am lucky to still be earning an income (though the shift has caused problems of it’s own). I do not shoulder the burdens that come with bringing life into the world at this time, an illness of someone I love and I don’t have to explain this to children of my own. Presently, everyone in my family is heathy and we communicate more than ever which makes my heart happy. My apartment is spacious and homey, though I have never felt further from my family. Though I am no where near being in this alone, there is a whole community I can lean into here abroad, at times I feel utterly isolated. I am so very thankful for everyone on the front lines of this ordeal, and that should go without saying, and I am so very frustrated with those who think they are immortal.
I have found a way to identify a lot of positives and advantages however, this pandemic has still put a lot of pressure on my mental health. If you are staring this pandemic straight in the eye and taking it seriously (as I hope to God all of you are) there is no way it wouldn’t. My whole body was filled with anxiety building up to this. I was waiting for someone to pull the trigger, ring the bell get this started so we can get this over with. The anticipation of the unknown was killing me, or I was predicting it would. Anywhere I turned there was news, rumours, remedies, memes and falsities that flooded my brain until I realised that with a shift in priorities I could silence it. I could feel a sense of relief, even if it is only temporary.
With a very conscious effort, I have shifted my view on this whole ordeal. I have started to view it as an eclipse and though most of the light in our typical every day has been blocked out, there’s a once in a lifetime chance to look up and be awestruck by the beauty of what still remains. To practice yoga, handwriting and stumble over a language. A chance to cook (and sometimes burn) my own meals, to become reflective and mindful of the emotions swimming through my being. Every day is different, with moments that are shine brighter than others and some days will feel never-ending. But everything is changing, nothing is infinite and there is beauty in the ephemeral.
In astrology, solar eclipses are thought to present unexpected opportunities and new beginnings. We are being forced to slow down, return to ourselves and become comfortable sitting with our own shadows. The moon loves the sun and our shadows love light, maybe if we can find some light in this we will get through it alright. In the meantime, be gentle with yourselves. I am sending you all the best vibes, and for fucks sake please stay home.