Once, we were drowning in candy
Acrylic on linen 90cm x 120cm
Was it such a long time ago, that life seemed so different, so much faster and a lot more expensive. The old world, I chuckle to my self, that time of indulgence and willy nilly spending but still not a patch on the spending prior to the financial crash of 2007. Funny how quickly I packed that difficult memory into a manilla folder and buried it deep in the vaults, way in the back of my memory banks, like the high street banks, where it’s easy to deposit but damned difficult to withdraw anything worthwhile.
Yeah, before the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns there was some real spending going on. Regardless whether we had the money or not, online had truly arrived and became a very easy way to pick up some badly unneeded items in a few minutes and with it having no real time investment or proper consideration, into the basket it went and I was whisked off to the online cashier, a kindly automated helper type bot who promoted me to throw my credit card digits about the place, like they are my new fist and last given names and then I would click my heels at the ease of this and all the free time I have now, to do what ever I wanted.
But there was no free time, I was too busy doing everything I thought I should do first and then coming back to what I wanted to do later , if there was time, of course, which there never seemed to be.
Yeah the old world, that was crazy.
Ive had a lot of time in this new world, sure, there has been some very strange changes, pubs closed- in Ireland!, hardware stores, restaurants, schools, libraries, all closed, restrictions on what I would have thought to be my basic right to movement and the meaning of my freedom - but it had a real purpose. Who could not understand that after watching and listening or reading about the chaos and fear and death and heartache in some of Europe, China and the U.S. or even here.
There is a slight shift in conversation now, towards a possible calmness growing out of this lockdown, a recalibration in our thinking, a recognition of what life can be like, as opposed to what it was like, before this period of closure. The machine has been turned off and for the first time, in my lifetime, the hum of commerce and the whizz of the hamsters wheel, have all fallen very quiet - for now. Everything is birdsong and clear skies, people out walking, wandering, talking, finding new aspects of their surroundings and families, there is reading and gardening, jigsaws and baking, nerves being tested, arguments being brewed, relationships being stretched and DIY being done to try rectify that. There is exercising, speculating, armchair deliberating and a whole lot of readjustment, because _ there has to be.
This is not a rose tinted look at an unprecedented anomaly in society but rather my view that I am better off for having this time to see the woods for the trees, to stop and smell the roses and to have the time to do what I want to do and not what I think I should do. Yes this is going to be difficult when we come out from under this strange blanket and when all the bills arrive and are totted up. For someone has to pay for the great machinery of commerce to lie idle for this long and there will be an overbearing question of how will we financially survive this.
Christ we have survived everything else, up until now, Im damned if Im going to be bullied into wandering about with a black cloud of worry over my head because the doom masters fear the future. This future Ireland can only be what it can be and all my worrying a’int changing any of that.
This lock down has cleared my head and I would rather not hear nor ever be in the hamsters wheel again.
I am living with so much less and then in turn Im using and doing so much more with what I have and with what I enjoy.
I don’t need to be drowning in candy, I would prefer not to be drowning in anything
I would prefer to maintain more of this new lifestyle.