It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tired into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one destiny, affects all indirectly.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
We are ‘hoping’ that life will return to normal – but what is normal now? My hope is that perhaps there is a growing recognition that actually the things which make us most connected to one another and to our world have no economic value. That it is in relationship to one another and to our world that we find meaning and hope.
Like many people I am surprised by how anxious I feel about being in a crowded street, I have not yet been on a bus or train. I have not visited a coffee shop , shop, theatre or cinema, or restaurant in over a year and have not seen members of my extended family since the beginning of March 2020. My relationships are mediated manly through a screen, and although I enjoy the fact that I can see my grandchildren, and chat with relatives, parents and my own kids I find myself also ‘outraged’ that the screen seems to emphasise the fact that we are not there in person. However there are positive ways in which we have been connecting with one another during this time. Face-time, Skype, Zoom have enabled those of us with the privilege of access to stay in touch, continue to work and meet friends and family. For some of us access has been opened up to things we might never otherwise have been able to experience – the RSC screening performances last summer meant that more people than ever had access to, what is in many ways, an exclusive art form. Church services moving online have meant that disabled people, shift workers, sports players can access worship services. Online meetings have meant that disabled people don’t have to worry about ‘access’ issues to meeting places. The end of the ‘commute’ for some has meant more time with family or friends.
Many of us are still living in a time of uncertainty, of grieving for what we have lost, of feeling lost, powerless even…. For many people the uncertainties are not around whether we will get to go to a football match or on holiday – but whether there will be food, heating, a home even. We are discovering that all sorts of issues we thought we had ‘dealt’ with we have simply swept to one side – ‘out of sight and out of mind’. I feel like anxiety and outrage run in a loop in my head fastened tight by the cord of helplessness – what can I do – how can I make a difference? And at the same time have to recognise the eternal truth that it is not “I “but “we” – where do we go from here and how will we live and how do we want to live for the future?
In over the coming weeks in Mixing bowl we will exploring the idea of re-connecting with;
– People we have missed and not seen for a long time
– Places we might not have felt safe going to or which have been closed.
– Practices of daily living which have changed so much over the last year.
What do we want to keep about this mediated world we find ourselves in – and what do we want back?