The glass cage

The COVID pandemic has effectively impounded us in a glass cage whence we see everything as it was before the alerts began but from which we seemingly hear no improvement whatsoever. Indeed there is a prospect of heightened infection from the latest “variant”.  Meanwhile we’re confined within a glass cage unable to dilute or dilate our personal reflections, ambitions and erstwhile traditions.

In keeping with our compensatory conduct we began the day with an improving bicycle ride along the new “route précise” which emphasizes the flatter less hilly sections of Town. It’s still worth about 5Km each jaunt which I argue at age 72 years is sufficient by any standard. Thus expiated of my guilt I refreshed the carcass in a cold water shower with goat’s milk soap before engaging the invigorating convention of breakfast; viz., fruit, steel cut oats, baguette bagel and ripened cheese.

I am presently in a state of moderate despondency.  Nothing serious other than the disturbance of my pitiful routine. After an interruption of a couple of days (occasioned by the weather and a social commitment) I am on the precipice of recovering my usual direction. Increasingly we find we can bear the deprivation of things which in the past were considered elemental to our purpose. This is meant as no insult to the historic record; merely an acknowledgment of change. The rigour of recognition is predictably paralyzed by reluctance to accept recast; but more pointedly hesitancy to accept diminution. Everything is being attenuated. I wouldn’t call it decomposition exactly; perhaps distillation is a more favourable rendition.

The curbing or weakening of my personal resources requires an alteration of both resolve and routine. Regrettably my efforts to do so are thwarted by attachment to the past. And a decaying spine. Nonetheless there is one useful feature of the lingering world and that is its provocation of habit and fractionation. There are but a few items I now account imperative – sleep, food, exercise, books, writing, music and photography. The intrusion of any one of them is disruptive. I find the indisputable necessity of each of them makes their performance mandatory. The balance of dispatch is equally important. It is as such an estrangement I must carefully police if I am to avoid complete detachment.

The simplification of life in old age makes me wonder at times how I survived the complications of my youth. My only insight is that the instinctive elements of activity are aligned to the strength of the fabric. As one declines, so does the other. I am determined not to submit to total declension. Hence arises the need for accommodation; that is, the narrowing of pursuits, the limitation of mobility, the contraction of association. In short, to do whatever it takes to lengthen the cord.