Hello! And how are things going in your part of the world?
Over here, not particularly well. From the day before yesterday, 10 pm, our country is more or less in a lockdown again. A ‘partial lockdown’ our Prime Minister calls it. The door is still slightly ajar, so to speak.
I’ve been feeling very angry about the whole situation. It isn’t the lockdown itself that bothers me – I can handle that and even think it’s a good idea. It’s the large number of hospital admissions that keeps me awake, the pressure on our care workers, the loneliness among vulnerable people… Again!
In spring the virus took us by surprise, but this time around we knew what we were dealing with. And yet, the numbers of cases have rocketed over the past month. We are now one of the countries with the highest numbers in the world! Why haven’t we been able to prevent this?
Anger isn’t going to help, I know that. But I’m having a hard time getting to grips with it. I’ve been pouring my anger out on paper, been mulling things over during sleepless nights, and been for walks around the village muttering to myself (well, not aloud, but inside). What I’ve come up with is a question, and an answer of sorts, too:
Q: What do I need in order to come to grips with my anger and be able to contribute to society in a positive way again?
A: I think I need more of some things and less of others. Here is a quick list.
LESS news. Over the coming weeks I’ll just read the morning paper and watch the evening news. That’s MORE than enough.
I need to breathe in MORE fresh air and listen MORE to the wind soughing through the tree tops.
LESS time gazing at screens.
MORE time gazing at the sky and the beauty of nature. (Fortunately we can still do that during our partial lockdown, as long as we don’t do it in groups.)
And MORE time to enjoy small natural wonders.
LESS fuming and ruminating.
MORE pottering around the garden.
The latest issue of Making Magazine landed in our letter box on the very Wednesday the lockdown started. The cheerful, sunny picture on the front cover is a close-up of a pair of mittens inside.
I also have two great books about MORE and LESS.
Less: Accomplishing More by doing Less was written by someone with the amazingly appropriate name Marc LESSER.
For me, this is a very helpful book, because I tend to get very (too) busy from time to time. The whole book is about that, and especially the last chapter, Busyness, or Finding the One Who is not Busy. But this time, I leafed to the chapter about resistance. It starts with a quote from Rilke:
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart
And try to love the questions themselves.
Finally, a very entertaining and also helpful book about MORE.
It tells us how to tell a good joke, conduct a Japanese tea ceremony, get custody of your pet in a divorce, mend a broken economy and save the world from climate change, just to name a few random examples. The book doesn’t tell us how to deal with a pandemic, but it does tell us how to cope with anger in 4 steps.
Leafing through this book has at least made me feel a little LESS irritable and MORE cheerful.
I fear that we’ll all be faced with partial or complete lockdowns for some time to come. We’ll have to find ways to keep our spirits up and help each other along. I hope you’re more or less okay, wherever you are in the world. What do you need more or less of?
A final remark about my need for MORE making: I’m working on a small project that I hope to share with you in my next post. It isn’t a knitting project, but it does have something to do with knitting. Hope to see you here again next week!