Still Life #11: Apocalyptic Existentialism

This is Sam’s (12) Corona bird he scribbled out on a piece of paper for me. I framed it straight away. It encapsulates the balancing act we are all facing.

Some of us might be taking this time to savour a good meal or the bonds we share around the table while we simultaneously try to push away the contrasting anxiety of loss and the awareness of others less fortunate.

We juggle having to face the personal struggles we’ve had the luxury of ignoring while we wonder if a world crisis could make them suddenly irrelevant.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it will. Now is the time to face our demons or they will eat what’s left of us as the world goes hungry.

Although most of us are safe in the comfort of our homes. I wouldn’t recommend making a home of denial. Not of our own personal struggles nor of the state of things beyond our garden walls.

After reading my posts, a friend asked me today if I was okay. Therapists are not in the habit of being asked if they are okay. We don’t like to be asked. We like to take refuge in other people’s troubles to escape our own. I replied:

“Thank you. I think most people are in (perhaps necessary) denial. Focusing on zoom yoga and taking pictures of lockdown meals, while the world runs out of food and half of India dies. I’m trying not to jump on a soap box and I’m also trying to stay positive. People will die. And not just of Corona. South Africa will take years to recover and our politics, or lack thereof, will become more significant than ever. I think people want me to give them 7 steps to surviving lockdown with your kids, not apocalyptic existentialism. But it’s all I’ve got.”


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