L-A: Chaos seems to be the only word

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.

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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

51 thoughts on “L-A: Chaos seems to be the only word

  1. Hi MMM,

    Sometimes we have to look for beauty, but we can always find it, even when the times are bad. Of course, it depends upon the person, eye of the beholder, etc. I used to tell people I found beauty in a war zone and those moments have stuck with me for many, many years. I saw a movie where one of the characters talked about the collateral beauty of death. I agree. Beauty, it is always there and I can see it in your photos, in your words. Thanks. Duke

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It almost felt like I was reading fiction, a lovely short of a time when the world shifted on hits heels and there you were in the midst of it. and yet… nope, it’s real. Getting a sense of your “new” albeit temporary life (well, we don’t really know how to define now vs. future…) left me feeling a bit peaceful. 🙂 I like the sun on the post too, and the bird that’s a mystery! And, Bestia!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so thankful to have my blog buddies, Manja. Checking in each morning and throughout the day–it makes me feel like we are socializing–even if we have to isolate. At least we can stay in touch and know that everyone is OK–at least hope that everyone is OK. I am so happy Amore is able to stay home with you. Take care.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Your version of chaos looks rather soothing, Manja, with those beautiful fields and blue skies. And the geese made me smile. I don’t think I’d be patting that donkey any time soon. 🙂 🙂 Carry on telling it so beautifully. It’s good to know that you are out there, still loving life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Chaos indeed. But I hear your post as a life raft from afar. This is how it might be here in just a few weeks or months, or days. They keep the schools open, so how can they contain it? Schoolgrounds are a breeding house for germs. But crowds must be less than 100 – what about the school yard. My clients appointments are cancelled bar one I think. So the boss gives me other things to do like filing – the shops are empty but we are not banned yet. More will close as there is no point being open when there is noone buying. Iceland had its first death – an Aussie tourist – with postive Covid 19 = but did he die of it or something else – nevertheless now potentially 23 other people who cared for him are infected – 3/4 of hte population of a small village. Will it come to that for the whole world. It is sad and worrying but I look to your posts for the first sign of light at the end of the tunnel. For you were one of the first countries to succumb, perhaps you will be the first to exit the tunnel. Can you walk on either side of the road with Amore?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So glad you have Amore and Bestia with you – and doing all right. The moon and the geese are lovely too! You have always had an eye for details and the little things – now everything is in the little things. That is good. I believe it is good for us to let the big world go for a while. Some neglected things and thoughts will come back to us and enrich our lives in other ways. Stay well – many virtual hugs from me and nose kisses to Bestia from my furry gentlemen.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ”This goes on for seven years.
    And then the quarantine starts.” That made me laugh 😁
    I feel like our flat is too small for the boys they need more action. Wish we had a backyard of our own. Also, working from home with two active boys means I’ll probably be working until midnight each day. 😴 But I loved this post. Boar and ducks? It didn’t take long for them to appear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, SMSW, I’m glad I made you laugh. 😀 With my favourite part of the post. I’ve been preparing for this state all this time and I didn’t know it. Yes, I can just imagine how it must be to work from home with toddler twins. Try to give them funny titles, like President of Cries and Giggles, and Manager for Sleep and Meals. 😀 And call them only by them. Yes, imagine that, wildlife will push us out of the cities. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love your photos as usual but your words are evocative and full of power as well. You talk about people and places I know (not al of them, a part) and you make me think of silnce… Silence can be a gift or a torture. This planet needed some rest from us and it found the way to take it. Lab or not, complots or not, whatever it is, it is undoubtedly good for the planet.
    Of course some of us are sick and dying, we are scared, we were utterly unprepared. For some of us it didn’t change a lot, for some others it changed everything.
    I have found moving the image of the two of you hugging in the terrace! How lovely ❤️
    This is the right mood my friend… Are we really sure that what we had before was dignified and deserved to be called “life”?
    Take good care of the 3 of you. We wanted to visit the countryside in spring. Hopefully we will do it in summer. I’ll keep my fingers crossed and send you a lot of kisses 😘😘😘

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Manja, my heart goes out to you in this madness. In the US they are saying we are 10 days behind Italy. I am not sure what to do with that information. Your photos are so serene and illustrate your story so well. I hope you stay well in your beautiful country home. Yes, in blogging land we are all connected. This is a blessing especially in times like these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Andrea. Well, Italy is long and the north was affected much earlier than the rest of it. It can be a long and slow process as the virus travels. And the USA is vast. Let’s hope that the virus doesn’t like the coming heat.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am catching up on my blog reading. What a beautiful account of such a trying time. I agree, I do love being able to spend more time with my family right now – it reminds me of what I miss when we are all doing our separate things.

    Liked by 1 person

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