Reflections of a Senior in Quarantine


Before our very eyes, the photograph of the world around us is torn in half. That first half, while fleeting, is filled with the memories of times that keep us going. Thoughts of warm hugs, soft hand grabs, loud parties, crowded movie theatres, amusement parks, and casual coffee shop conversations swirl about that shard of our past. The second, however, is our present, which becomes clearer and clearer each day. It’s quiet…one may even call it desolate. If you look close enough, you may be able to make out a slightly messy, grey bedroom with scattered papers, textbooks, and even some face coverings strewn about. Under even closer inspection, a figure can be made out; it sort of looks like you, but it seems to be reaching out for that broken half. No matter how much you reach and yearn you can never quite grab it. It burns every time. The soreness seems to race up your spine each time you reach out for the fleeting half. Is it sadness? Anger? Anxiety? Melancholy? Loneliness? Only you can answer that.

There is a way to dull that pain though.  Instead of forcefully trying to snatch and hold the distant, fading half of our world, you can let it flow naturally to you. While this may take time and patience, that half will naturally reconnect with our current one. However, instead of completing the photograph’s past end, it will create the future. It certainly won’t look the same, but some elements will be there. Giggles shared while bumping elbows, meals together in the trunks of our cars, drive-in movies, smiling with our eyes instead of our mouths, and emotionally being there for one another over FaceTime. Yes, our world has changed. Many of the societal norms we’ve learned to love and even take for granted are in that torn past. Even so, time progresses in a steady, forward motion; now, more than ever, the mundane is exciting. The little bits of togetherness and community that we manage can mean so much more. Whether we realize it or not, there are ways we have stronger connections with one another than before this plague even began. The typical becomes unique. Boring errands become grand adventures. Distanced interactions become cherished memories. Kind words become true love. So, we can look forward to the day we can once again return to a peaceful world inside of our own photographs.