Making Sense of the Past in the Uncomfortable Present

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

I thought that I would revisit this easter post, I originally wrote it in 2017. Does it feel like another world ago for you too? This easter we are all compelled to stay home and with only the people we are living with. There will be no large family gatherings, or celebration this year.

How strange it is to be even living through these times. I have been journaling my own experience of our lives, but as I am still finding my way through this one day at a time I am not yet ready to share.

I wonder if I look back at this day in 2023 what will be happening?

I still hold the many questions and thoughts that I had about Easter when I wrote this as I do today. Although I'm not sure it is a time for me to try and make sense of my past when being in my present is so uncomfortable. There are still questions about the ethical nature of chocolate, but while the shop shelves are emptied of essential items it's hard to think about that. Human trafficking and slave labour is viewed through the prism of covid19 and redefined here by Arundhati Roy for the Finacial Review. And in the light of George Pell being released from prison this week my questions about power/authority and the Catholic Church will remain as questions as I am too weary to even go there.

Our eldest son is in the hospital with double pneumonia, what a relief it was when we were told the results of all the test.

'Oh, it's just double pneumonia'.

Our next son lives in Victoria, 800km away, close enough in my mind to jump in the car and go and get him if things get worse. He is safe where he is at the moment. But he is there.

My brother is in Guangzhou just over 800km from Wuhan not really that far at all. The detention centre is in lockdown, so he is safe from the virus. But lockdown in detention means something entirely different. He has not left his cell in over 60 days.

My eldest daughter, the one I went quince picking with back in 2017, is staying with dear friends on the other side of the city. They are isolating together, which is nice, but it means she is not here. In the past weeks, we have prepared quince tarts, crumbles and lamb dishes with this year's bounty. But she is not here now, with me. I have my husband and my youngest daughter and today we have painted eggs and eaten hot cross buns. We have rearranged our bookshelves and settled the school guinea pigs in for the holidays.

The weariness and grief I feel can only be soothed by doing, by being present and messing about with quinces in the kitchen. On this day in 2017, I was apparently 'lounging in the Autumn sun' without a care in the world.

I'm not sure I would wish for those times again, and the idea of being unemployed today is filled with much more dread and fear. Queues at Centrelink offices, tears and frustration, uncertain tomorrows...

Revisiting the past gives us the fuel for reflection, how olden days were easier, times were different and times have changed.

How can we change our future? Do we want to?

Below is my Easter post from 2017, taking a wander into another time and place if just to revisit Isla, the Scottish girl, sometimes can soothe, sometimes its the only way to tell you are still alive.