It’s still April.
Right now, experiencing this timeline from the inside, it feels like it should be July.
Not only is the world warming up properly, but time is totally losing its meaning. We all closed the doors at the beginning of Spring. Was that a month ago now? Or more? Or less. “This will go on until May.” “This will go on until October”. “This’ll all be over by Christmas.”
Last night I decided today would be an achievyday, where I tidied the nightmare and changed the plug sockets and the loo seat and the light fittings. Instead I just went for a very long walk through the deserted streets of Chelsea and Fulham and achieved nothing. I happened by my brother’s home and spoke briefly to my niece through the door. Even that was a relief as it was human communication in proximity with someone I already know. I had Brian in an over the shoulder long shot from the window the other day, more about his bike and his existence than his face. He had his helmet on. It was still more humanity than I’ve encountered outside a screen for ages.
The conversation with Catherine today was at least a bit more like the ones that humans have. Still artificial. It was a proscenium arch conversation. We could see each other, and react to each other. But she was inside the house and I was standing on the road. There was a gulf of artificially imposed space between us that we kept at all times. I was almost instinctively trying to go off on diagonals, but knowing I’d lose the sightline as soon as the bush got in the way.
It meant a lot to walk the streets. To see the world still functioning. Walking the streets still seems more sensible than going near the parks that are full of people sweating. Streets are conduits whilst parks are destinations. Destinations are to be avoided. There’s nowhere in this city you can go without being close to loads of people, but on the streets you can still keep your distance. Not in the parks. Someone will sweat on you immediately. You can’t even get through the gates. Kissing gates. Eek.
It is April still. The beginning of the mild times. Maybe another month of storm and wind. But then we should be coming into the peaceful summer months. The calm happy times where I usually find myself with a bunch of rogues and vagabonds making something beautiful and ephemeral. By August I am usually feeling creatively warm, fulfilled and relaxed if tired. I find a late summer festival so I can go into a field and dance constantly for three days and figuratively blow the top of my head off. Wilderness or Green Man or both. I fear neither of them will happen this time round. I haven’t even tried to pitch for a walkabout.
I’ll just walk the streets. Catch the temporary beauty even in London at this time. Long for the lost times. As we all do. It will return. And we will be more mindful when it does.