Considering where we are at as the planet, chaos seems to be the only possibly theme this week, and Leya called it. In our home in Tuscany we call it quality time, though, as my letter from the quarantine is about to show.
First, we need a song with an apt title by the aptly named group. Therapy? Another song by them is called Going Nowhere. They knew it back then in 1994.
Here is my quarantine news, Tuscany-style. Everybody takes this new normal as they are forced to or as they are able, we call it happy times. Life without the alarm clock at 4.15 is a vast improvement.
A letter from the quarantine
I live in Tuscan countryside with a donkey and geese for neighbours. Our apartment is in the condominium with about 95 units and maybe five of them are occupied, including ours.
I walk the dog twice a day. I talk to nobody but amore for weeks. All my connections with the world are online. We go to buy groceries twice a month. We never walk the dog together.
This goes on for seven years.
And then the quarantine starts.
Do you see how prepared I am?
What for most is chaos, for me is the continuation of the same, just that now it’s institutionalised.
There are some differences, of course. I get to have amore at home at all times since Friday when they finally allowed him to stay put. He does field work and cannot work from home. We cannot go anywhere together, such as buy groceries, he does it himself.
I cannot meet the first Italian person I know by name, and explore and laugh with her, and have such an excellent time as we always have together. Well, since December when we first met. Also, she lives about two hours away.
I cannot joyride anywhere and my dog walks are in a one kilometre radius. If I pass anybody, we stay on opposite sides of the road. We might murmur a greeting but the eyes don’t meet for long enough to smile. Nobody wears masks in the street, but the sellers do. The only person I saw with the mask was at the last delivery we had two weeks ago, of dog food. The man’s eyes above the mask looked feverish to me. I didn’t touch the package for hours.
Amore’s father is in Rome, tending his cat and his yard. Most of my people are in the neighbouring Slovenia where the quarantine is on as well. My parents are in Piran, tending their garden. My sister, who sent me the song above, is watching from her window how crows and pigeons are taking over the streets of Ljubljana. My uncle is writing poems. Just like me, he is great at social distancing.
The rest of my people are you, fellow bloggers. I know that for most this has been chaos, not quality time. Some of you cannot stay home. Some of you cannot reach home. Some of you are in the high risk groups, or your loved ones are. Most of you have trouble acquiring certain items from shops. Nobody knows how long this will last. Some of you might be infected and don’t know it. Or you do. I hope nobody is in the hospital but if so, I wish you all the best.
In Italy 475 people died today, but over here, what will happen now? We might start wishing to walk the dog together, because we cannot, or to go to a restaurant, which we only tend to do when we have guests. Amore might start wishing to go back to work. I will not start wishing to be alone. I like him about the house. We laugh more, we smile more, we tell each other more. Today we hugged in the sunshine of our flat roof.
Children like their parents home for a change. They feel this is how it’s supposed to be. And most parents like to be home with them. It’s easy to get used to life without the alarm clock.
Crows like to be in the streets. Birds like the sudden lack of cars and sing more joyfully. There are ducks in the fountain underneath the Spanish steps in Rome. There are boar in the streets of Italian towns. There are fish in the canals of Venice. Have you seen the photos? You can see the bottom.
As for the Geese of the Apocalypse – the four neighbours who always run to the fence and scream their disapproval at the dog passing, who once escaped and walked past my home in a single file, which made me think I was dreaming, and when I followed them I saw how they marched back into their yard through the hole where they escaped, and who came to tell me after New Year’s Eve in all gravity of the situation that they were now three – yesterday I passed them again.
They are down to two. And they didn’t make a sound.
While the geese photos of when they escaped are two years old, all the rest are from the last ten days. These are almost the only ones I took.
I wish you all well and to stop waiting to go back to normal. I’m afraid that for the time being this is it.
For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Leya of To See A World in a Grain of Sand…: Chaos