ZEITGEIST

I like to get inspired by human interaction or topical events. Needless to say I’ve found it hard to find a subject matter to write about, something a bit featherlike.

Contact with others is pretty much restricted, so my life rhythm is punctuated by a few humdrum activities. No surprise expected. Work from home.  Grocery shopping.  School runs.  Watch the (always deflating) news. Lengthy time spent on Youtube. What’s on Netflix? Try to read / write. So much for human interaction…

But there’s Whatsapp,  Zoom among others… Yes of course, but to talk about what? Conversations in this part of the world revolve mostly around how we’re all overworked, about the lockdown 2 rules, stress, upcoming vaccination, Brexit…

Oh, we’re talking about Christmas, but just to relish the idea of a proper break from work at last, not to trade Christmas menu inspirations – the air is thick with fatigue, hopelessness and expectations.

Impossible to escape the doom and gloom of current times, even when speaking with relatives who reside in my motherland; shocking killings are rampant in the North /South West regions of the country, the economical and moral plight raging still.

What’s the state of your mind in the midst of this quagmire? I’m sure I’m not the only one here eager to see the back of 2020, even if it’s wishing our life away. For my part, I’m pondering about my relationship with my mind, and how to keep it sane and catering to my needs in these chaotic times.

For those experiencing the same funk, all I can say is we cannot escape this mess, because this is what life has meant so far this year. But we still are bound to move through the motions, and make sense of our everyday.

You, who are having the time of your life, please share your secret!

Silver lining there is in any situation though; dark times tend to back us into a corner, forcing us to rethink the usual, the common, the “too-comfortable”.  Hardship can lead to dramatic life changes and new beginnings. However there’s a tunnel to cross – a dark one – to get there for some of us, that requires enough light to land on the other side. Maybe a bit bruised or even scathed, but on the other side nevertheless.

I’m reading quite a compelling book, The Mind Management, that essential endeavours to explain why we are not our mind. We’re supposed to look at our mind as a major part of our being that can either lead to self-fulfilment, or depression (no no, we don’t want that!). We tend to let the mind control our decisions and actions, whereas we are actually the master of it. Tricky task, but we need to be aware of that power, and exert it.

I use optimism as my light in the tunnel. Good old positive thinking schmilblick. Most spiritiual beliefs assure us that we intrinsically possess internal peace. Why don’t we automatically reach for it then, if it’s already embedded in us? Would we be addicted to mental unrest? Are we holding on to our stress membership to belong to the majority? Or are we merely lacking the tools – knowledge, energy – to manage our mind like we own it?     

Very interested to know how you weather the storm, every little helps!

Power to you.

2 thoughts on “ZEITGEIST

  1. Frankly, looking from here in Douala, the “developed” world has never been so distant, so weird and so revolting. Majors, enterprises, medias, politics, police and army are clearly eating the brains of their citizens, after having dislocate all social relations. I’m talking about real relations… even the ones where you yell at each other are so much more gratifying than the best zoom calls.

    Freedom or liberty, there, equal to being alone in front of a screen. Back in my days in Paris and Montreal, books, cinema and music were enablers. Gateway to see the real world with much more poetry and an escape to routine. Take any early movie from the Coens, Cronenberg or Spike, or books by Boris Vian and Kundera. The world was just broader after such experiences.

    Today, entertainment is too slick, too clean, too nice, too much “fun” and equals to the lived dreams of the Matrix. Lockdown is not a lockdown when you’re surrounded by nature, plants, sea, even if that nature in Europe or America. It’s not on Neflix, but try to (re)see the Thin Red Line (1998) by Terrence Malick by yourself, and/or 1979’s The Black Stallion with your child. I have.

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