Greetings Fellow Dystopians

I don’t recognize this new world we’ve awakened to.

Yesterday Ketut went home to spend two days with his family. This morning I got word that the island is preparing to lock down. Stock up, was the warning.

I’d already placed a big order with Indimete – it was delivered today.

I messaged Ketut a grocery list and requested enough fruits and veggies to last a month. It seemed safer for him to shop in his village and avoid the masses that flood Ubud market. After he brings my food supply tomorrow, I’ll send him back to his family to shelter in place for the rest of April.

Then my doors will close and I’ll hunker in.

Fortunately for me, a like-minded friend moved in downstairs this week. There’s a great deal of comfort having another virus-free human to interact with. I know myself well enough to realize I can do ‘alone’ if I must. The mental equipment for solitary survival is in place. But it would be harder. Much harder.

I don’t discount the connections I make with people who respond to my writing. They’re heartwarming. During my thirty-three-day ‘silent retreat’ in Italy (silent only because I didn’t speak the language) social media was my saving grace. But there’s nothing like a living, breathing, flesh-and-blood friend who recognizes the deer-in-headlights stare and pours a glass of wine!

A line in a book I’ve been reading, Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell, struck me as having significance for the current situation. (A writer friend, Steve Castley, would tell me I need a transition between this paragraph and the one before, and he’s right. I beg forgiveness.) Here’s that inspirational line:

An abyss cannot be crossed in two steps.

It’s like my grocery order. I’m sure Ketut was surprised to get a Whatsapp list of twenty-six items in large quantities when my usual request is four in small amounts. And he was probably even more shocked to hear he gets a month’s paid vacation. But the time for hesitation has passed. I heeded the warning and leaped the abyss.

Too many leaders are doing the two-step maneuver with deadly results. Don’t take your cues from them. Be proactive with your own health and that of your family. This disease waits for no one.

Food for thought: Perhaps reflect on a time in the past when you’ve tried to cross the abyss in two steps. Then make a commitment to leap from now on.

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