Personal Space is Back in Fashion
As a writer and artist I have been blessed and cursed to live a life where I observe the world around myself.
Recently, the world has gone nuts, things have changed dramatically, something called Corona has unleashed itself into the world and is wreaking havoc in families and communities. That’s all I know.
What I don’t Know
I can tell you nothing about this virus, I can’t tell you more than what I read in the news. And I know you have been reading the news. The media feeds us with information and we must make do with what we get.
Looking Out my Window
I read the latest news, then I stand at my apartment window and observe people in the street. They walk in twos, stand in queues, separated by a body’s length.
At the corner there is a tobacco and newspaper shop. Masked locals stand and wait their turn to enter the shop. White surgical masks or bright colours draped across their face, they look like bandits waiting their turn to go inside and rob the place.
Dress Codes and Patience
Patience is asked for as they wait. The wind is whipping through the streets and there are a lot of hunched shoulders, hands deep in pockets. It has started to snow. Hats have been ferreted out from the cupboards, heavy coats and green rubber gloves, the latest style.
Dressing up to be cool is no longer the priority, dress for protection, and hope the virus doesn’t visit your space.
Space, Mind, and the Body
Space has never been so in fashion, so deeply considered. It’s valuable. I’ve got some of it, so don’t break my space with your body. I move with it, I navigate my way along the street and keep my space for myself. It’s my art, my way of life now, for a while at least.
I used to value the space between my ears, in my head. The Brain — that Great App that figures everything out, picks up data, calculates things, and feeds back the figures on what I’ve seen. Then I’d turn it into art.
Now my mind has extended its reach a few more feet, about six feet all ‘round. That’s my protection from the lurgy bug that could destroy this old body. Old bodies keep marching on, the habit of a lifetime.
Space gives us a place to walk. We build cities so that people can walk. Then some smart ass with too much cash and little space for thinking, decides to block our walking way with a vending machine. Then a news kiosk takes up more space, then, as time goes by, a shopping mall dominates what was once our space. We only want six feet of space.
Peter Pan and my Shadow
Our six feet of space is our shadow, now. Like Peter Pan we are frightened for it, we don’t want to lose it, otherwise we will have to find Wendy to sew it back on again. The news tells me that Wendy is a busy girl right now, so do your best to protect your shadow.
The mast of our thoughts is to keep an eye on our shadow-space, and be sure that a window doesn’t slide shut and cut it off.
Is it a Dance or an Army Maneuver?
Navigating along a street is like learning a new dance, and yes, it does take two to tango. I hope that my partner has been practicing their steps. I want to enjoy the dance with a stranger, not be subjected to fifteen minutes of ducking and weaving my way through the supermarket like a soldier on manoeuvres.
Space is always important. The space at my desk where I work, the space between my partner and I, the too big a space between myself and my friends.
We all have enough space to navigate, to live in, to enjoy our lives. We must be wise with how we move in that space, and how we respect the space that other people have allotted themselves.
I can only observe your movements and adjust my course to create a harmony that helps us all feel safer.
When each morning, we take a look into the kaleidoscope of media news, we’ll know little more than we did yesterday.
So, I’ll head back to my own space, check that my shadow is still attached and carry on writing what I see.