My mind is numb. Pictures, videos, emails, messages and tweets from around the world. Fear, panic, dread, loss and uncertainty. And a thousand letters from ‘caring’ company CEOs telling me how they will carry on through this unprecedented disaster. Every day, every hour, updates from around the world. From every continent, every region, every country, every province. We are counting the dead. We are counting the dead. How does one write through a global disaster? Should one write through catastrophe?
A number of unfinished blog pieces lie in my drafts folder. I stare at them. They stare back at me. I look at my academic writing goals for the year. The list looks back at me and laughs. We are still counting the dead. How does one write to make sense of this planetary scale crisis? I honestly don’t know. As we watch public meltdown and musical balconies and funeral processions and supermarket skirmishes… I know that each morning we are opening our eyes to a world that we have never seen before. Yet it remains eerily familiar. As the fault lines we have been shouting about, (nay, yelling at the tops of our voices about for years!!) – the othered bodies, ignored knowledges, forgotten histories – begin to crack open.
I don’t know that sense can be made of death. Death has never made any sense to me, apart from an acknowledgement of its irrefutable presence. But I will try my best to write through this, nonetheless. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. And some medicine is better than a full cup of despair. So, through this time of corona, I cannot promise to be steadfast. I cannot promise any answers. In the face of such drastic loss of control over most things, I can only promise to write with love. With hope. And a prayer. May we soon stop counting the dead. And somehow make our world better and kinder. Together. In time.
Go well. Stay safe. Be kind. And remember to let our actions reflect that though we must accept finite disappointment, but we must never, ever lose infinite hope. [Martin Luther King]