Monday, 27 July 2020

Abstraction

src: dreamstine


It's a brand new day with no agenda. Chores, reading, chores, a movie, and more chores. Not that there are that many of them, but they tend to be the highlight of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. I browse the internet and find this rotating cube at the bottom of news websites. Flashing numbers. Numbers that represent confirmed cases and deaths. But mere numbers all the same. 10 million. 15 million...a sigh of despair. Almost forced at this point. 

Abstraction. That is how we deal with others' suffering. Imagine if we were to feel the pain of every tragedy we come across. We'd be crumbled to dust with the weight of negativity in our minds. But we don't. We stay emotionally detached unless the suffering comes knocking on our own doors. 

Four months of indoors. Not that I minded much. The only longing was to meet the one who wasn't with me. A day came when I could, but for a short time. There came the rush of joy in reunion, leaving behind the want for more. It was a rekindling of the longing that I hadn't realized had subsided over the months. The longer the wait, the more abstract the longing becomes. One gets used to the routine with time. One gets used to the change. No wonder they say that time heals. 

Abstraction. It explains how doctors deal with suffering day after day. Or people of any profession that requires them to. But one can only apply it so much with the physical presence right before their eyes all the time. Unlike for me where deaths are mere numbers flashing on my phone screen. Of course, it's a grim feeling to see the numbers rise, but it doesn't trigger a shock anymore. It worries me and yet it really doesn't. Does this detachment make us inhuman? 

Maybe it is a part of being human. Necessary, even, to help us move on. Another day ends and I lay sleepless late in the night. Funny how sleep hangs heavy on my eyelids only to evade me the moment I hit the bed. I shift my position and end up staring at my mom sleeping next to me. She twitches in her sleep. I become a little worried. I hope she's okay. An overwhelming feeling of love engulfs me all of a sudden. I want to hug her, but that would probably startle her.  

A whole day of being around her at home and it is only at night that this feeling overcomes me. Is this also abstraction? Taking someone or something for granted? To know and understand what we have but not appreciate it enough? 

Our pandemic is still running amock on the streets. Having finished The Plague by Albert Camus, I am left with a feeling of melancholy. The town of Oran has overcome their plague, we are still stuck with ours. We too will survive by trying to stay emotionally detached. For some of us, it's easier than others. Wherever we may stand, however, there's no choice but to hold on. 

We'll get through.



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