In This Lockdown I Am Just A Weary Girl, Standing Before My Refrigerator…

Me, I am just a girl, not little enough anymore to hope dinner will cook itself… and these thoughts swirl through my mind.

Me, I am just a girl, not little enough anymore to hope dinner will cook itself… and these thoughts swirl through my mind.

But here I am, weeks into a near total lockdown, and a few months since life changed forever, staring at the fridge wondering if life will ever be the same again.
On a day, when none of us has anywhere to go, when each day is the same; there is no doorbell that will ring; no activity to structure my routine around; how can I possibly be unable to handle the few choices the bare shelves throw up? But I am – unable to decide. I realize it’s not the food, it’s the turmoil in my mind.

The uncertainties around which we stoically try to build our routines weigh on me; as I wonder:-

Will today be spent reading and researching on my laptop;
Or will the companion for the day be my mop?
Will my gourmet creation be worth a picture;
Or will the vegetables in maggi be my redeeming feature?
Will we follow the schedule for each activity;
Or will the day pass with no productivity?
When I finally venture to buy many a vegetable
Will I change out of pajamas into something respectable?
Will the laundry forever continue to pile,
Or will I get around to folding them in a while?

The gamut of feelings, some of which surface unexpectedly, threaten to overwhelm me, and without warning, the roller coaster of emotions takes off. Like a giant spinning wheel, who knows where it will stop; and which chord it will strike deep within

Is today the day for anger?
Or will grief find center?
Maybe again disbelief will override
Or with anxiety I will be beside?
Will I feel a fear intense ; like never before?
Can I ever, stop being so unsure?
Will I wonder if this isolation ever end
And humanity begin to mend?
Will it always be so intense, this pain,
Or will things be simple ever again?
As I say the daily prayer,
For my loved ones everywhere
I hope gratitude will make way into my heart
And perhaps faith will do its part
enough to give hope,
and the strength to cope
Despite this awareness of vulnerability,
Can I search for stability?
Rise above this despair
And for a different tomorrow prepare?

Suddenly, as the giant spinning wheel continues its spin, all myriad colours merge, first into the rainbow, and then a gleam of white; I am suddenly little again.

Little, compared with the universe and its churnings;
Miniscule in front of the world’s proceedings
Petty in the larger scheme of things,
Oblivious to how life swings;

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And I realize, it is the wheel that given me the answer.

Whatever feeling I select; whichever question chooses me; and whatever thought finds home in my mind today; all are part of the whole; each is mine to embrace.

The wheel will keep spinning; and we must also not give up; soldiering on with grace, humility and belief.

We shall overcome.

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About the Author

shalini mullick

Shalini is an author and a practicing doctor specializing in respiratory pathology. Her book Stars from the Borderless Sea (2022) was longlisted for the AutHer Awards 2023 (Debut category). Shalini was awarded a Jury Appreciation read more...

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