Early in the morning we take a half-hour drive through the Breton countryside. The fields are usually green, the cows chewing their cuds. We arrive at our destination, a medieval town, park in our usual lot, then walk for about 10 minutes towards a yoga studio. We take a back street, tree-lined, following a river which then disappears under the downtown area. Bits of songs remain in my head from last night’s choir practice. I notice details of the old buildings’ architecture. We hear the noise of children as we pass by a school. Several flights of stairs take us to a clean, sunny, well-aired location where we put on our sporty clothes and greet the others. Mats and cushions await us, along with our smiling teacher. In the car, on the street, in groups, I try to keep a smile on my face because just that little bit can make a day go better. I must remember to inform of my up-coming absence, traveling to the States for Thanksgiving. After the yoga class, we return to the car, taking another route, enjoying shop windows, pedestrian streets, perhaps making a purchase or two. Maybe I will stop in the art store, chat with other artists, be invited to an exhibit, a reception. Sometimes we eat lunch out but today I don’t want to linger too long as I am meeting my quartet in the afternoon for rehearsal. We enjoy the beauty of the municipal flower beds and then pass over a pedestrian bridge to the parking lot and return home.
This “fantasy” was my normal Tuesday reality. Today’s reality has become a nightmare. Masks prevent communication, breathing, seeing other’s smiles. Many businesses are closed. It has been months since I was able to sing in harmony with others. Singing along with the radio just doesn’t do it. Small businesses already do not have an easy time but now, I fear they will all go under. The art store has closed. There are no receptions. If there are any visits, masks must be worn. Under a semi-respite situation, we would attend yoga class, but had to bring our own mats, etc., wear masks until on our mats and the number of places was drastically reduced. Now we are “confined”, can only go out for essentials, obligated to write ourselves a permission slip (fine of 135€ if not all in order). Masks in downtown areas, yes, even outdoors. Restaurants, take-out only. Borders closed, travel even more harrowing with masks, tests (nose rape), etc. How long, O Lord, how long?
The government’s announcements on television invite us to “respect the barrier gestures” as if they were sacred, political signs of the cross….[some examples of folly in society supposedly led by divine will]… Confinement deprives us of social life, the right to circulate, in the name of the “republic’s will”, the equivalent of “divine will”. Circumstances […]