Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Reluctant Nostalgia

On Saturday, I saw my film with its long middle section about the pandemic. On Sunday, I saw another documentary film titled 100 Days with Tata. A most delightful film about a young man and his great grandmothers, both of whom loved each other beyond the norm and were not shy about expressing it. The 100 days? You guessed it—sheltered together during the pandemic in Madrid. And then last night, I watched the first episode of Season 5 of The Good Fight that covers the year—  2020! The characters in masks and the lawyer teams being told to download something called Zoom.


So three days in a row, I traveled back to that time we none of us would like to re-visit. It called up all the uncertainty we had, the see-saw of complaining about the inconvenience and then facing the death toll, the sense of being given an indefinite Time-Out by Mother Nature, who expected us to go to our room and reflect about what bad boys, girls and trans we had been. So that we might come out with a sense of remorse that actually leads to change, a renewal of vows to care about what’s actual important, a new perspective on how limited the electronic world is we’ve sold our souls to when what we really crave is a hug, a face-to-face conversation, an opportunity to sing in harmony and play complementary drum parts without digital delay. And most importantly, indeed, most importantly, to stop raising our children with appliances. 


And for some of this, that long cooling-off period reaped some results. Suddenly people paid more attention to the George Floyd horrors that have surrounded us for centuries, the Black Lives Matter signs appeared in windows and on front lawns, we took some online poetry or banjo classes and truly considered that in a time of crisis, we can either grow smaller selves or larger souls, and hey, why not choose the latter?


Having traveled to Europe twice in the past six months, recently to Toronto and Rochester with no mandatory masks on planes, teaching kids and adults mostly maskless and actually singing and holding hands and playing recorder, having known many people who got Covid, but only the mild 3 or 4 day version and then back on their feet, I’ve truly felt what people are still reluctant to say out loud, “The Pandemic is over.” With the big sigh of relief that that statement brings.


But hey, what do I know? I don’t follow it on the news, I’ve heard about some resurgences, I went to a choral concert last night when everyone in the audience was required to wear masks and weirdly, the singers did too! We seem to be in some nether-zone, some betwixt and between place where “it’s mostly over, but…”


Meanwhile, I think about how my current life has some routines inspired by the pandemic—and retirement. The daily walk in the park outside. The jigsaw puzzles. The increased interest in cooking. The nightly TV Series. The Zoom interview I had today (though thankfully, no more Zoom workshops for the moment!). 


We almost have enough distance to echo the Weaver’s film title, “Wasn’t That a Time!”


Indeed, it was. 


PS Hmm. Wonder if that film is on Netflix? 

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