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Travels With Ronni

Isolate sounds prick at my mind. A bird calls to another outside my window.
Silence inside envelops me. My fingers itch for the keys. They wait for a thought to course through my veins to fingertips. I hear the clicking and watch the screen. I’ve begun something.

We went to sleep and woke up one day to a new world. A world of social distancing because of the world-wide pandemic caused by COVID-19 the Coronavirus that has overtaken us in just days.

There has been an epidemic of loneliness for several years and now with the new edicts of social distancing, loneliness affects a great deal more of the population.

In these times when forced isolation provides reams of unaccustomed time it can be put to use by writing. Partly as self-entertainment and partly to be shared with others through the phone or Internet or in some cases in person within the household.

Writing is one way to fend off this loneliness and stress due to uncertainties, loss of income, health and isolation from family and friends. Write about how it feels today. Write about past experiences good and bad and how feelings and emotions, decisions and outcomes impacted your life. The process can simply be writing in a journal or it can take the form of a letter, poem, play, short story, essay or even novel. Before long you have several pages, about pieces of events scattered through your life. These pieces can be placed in a three ring notebook, a box or file and also bound into a book.

One just gets started by doing. Putting one word down on a paper or on the screen and other words follow without thought.

For me, writing has been my companion. My soul mate who doesn’t fall asleep on me when I’m speaking or mention that I’ve told that story before. It supports my thoughts. It embraces my words. It gives me the opportunity to vent and in so doing understand more of a condition or situation.

In one room, in front of my laptop, I can travel backward in time to anywhere. There are no security checks or flight delays. Travel is instantaneous. My system can dwell on one spot, one action, one emotion for however long I please. I can transverse pink sand, cool to the souls of my feet in 90 degree temperature next to aquamarine water sliding up the shore. I can see him stand on the promontory camera in hand, sweat dampening his blond hair capped under a safari hat. What the camera did for us led to a novel that fed on itself.

In this new world we have been given a reprieve from frenetic-ness. Time is our own not dictated by others. We are finally in control of our own lives at least in the decisions about time. “There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3.
We can choose to make this time useful for ourselves by documenting the situation for posterity through words about how we felt, observed, reacted.

Empty shelves in supermarkets. People lined up before it opens to hoard or to obtain only for the moment food and products once never so important like hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

We have time to “live life in radical amazement” a phrase coined by Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel to “get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal, everything is incredible, never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

To record in word all that is happening, has happened and might happen is to expose a piece of oneself for posterity and leave a legacy.