…From The Jaws of Defeat

“With all this free time on your hands, you should have plenty of time to write your book. You should have chapters and chapters done.” I have heard this statement in many forms over the last two weeks. It is a way of trying to see something good in the pandemic. More than one person I know called it a “blessing in disguise”. “The world on lock down, people dying. A blessing…

But, they are right, or there is something in what they say. This extra time, for those who aren’t working, this free time, for those who have it, is a gift. It is a time to get some rest, to relax, read some books, clean your house, wash the car, tend the lawn or garden, start a hobby, declutter, get organized, make a budget, or do anything else.

It is also disquieting for some reason and it has created an imbalance in my life. I am not on vacation. I am self-isolating in a country on lock-down because there is a virus out there, in the world, threatening (or promising) to kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

So, it doesn’t feel like vacation. It feels like hiding. It feels like waiting. It feels like the end of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”, where “…Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”

COVID-19 has dominion over us , and we are working and writing and making videos and exercising and Everything, trying to wring meaning and value out of our time in oppression. We are trying to somehow come out ahead.

we are trying to come out of it with a full draft of a novel, or more blog posts, or a flatter stomach, or a cleaner house, or a healthier mental state.

We are trying to win.

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