Contractions and Expansions. An Journal Entry From Spain by Nora

I’m writing this off the cuff, not from a piece I’d written and saved somewhere. It could be considered a journal entry, or even more likely a letter to friends. Anyway, lets see what comes up.

We have been in mandatory isolation for over a week now, and there is no end in sight. I say mandatory, because ‘things’ started shutting down where I live in Spain during the first week in March.

This is what has contracted.

First I lost my exercise classes, three times a week of physical and mental fun with a group of retired folk. When I say retired, that doesn’t mean chronologically old, as quite a few were early retirement /laid off, others were there for health reasons. In any case, those sessions disappeared from our lives, and took with them the interaction with a diverse group of people.

Next to go was the weekly ceramics class, playing not only with clay, and form,and colour, but also developing new mental and motor skills. Most of all, the people!! What a great group they are, and what a joy to spend three hours listening to different points of view, stories, and experiences.

Finally, I managed to compensate for the loss of scheduled activities by increasing walking in the nearby fields, hills, and woods. Great exercise, fresh air, not too many people around, and an early spring full of flowers. I even bought a guide to local flora, taking me back to biology student days. Great idea! Until that also became off limits. What?! Yes, no more open air walking right now. So, to put it mildly, my physical space has contracted quite a bit in the past three weeks.

So what has expanded?

Communication with people in many different ways, mostly thanks to messaging systems, but also waving across the street, or smiling over the supermarket checkout, and good old phone calls. The latter is something I’ve never been too keen on, but it really makes a difference to hear a voice rather than read a message. Even better if you get to do both!

I’ve reconnected with friends I’d lost track of, simply by sending or receiving a quick ‘how are you’, followed later by photos, personal news updates, and more.

I’ve received, and I hope offered, a tremendous amount of support with activities like yoga, reading, online theatre and concerts, puzzles, you name it, its out there. This site was forwarded to me by a friend who thought it might be interesting, and she was right.

We live in a global society, some with friends and family scattered all over the continents. Sharing news and information, and just listening to each others concerns, hopes, and joys are important to me at the best of times. This isn’t the best of times, so that makes support even more important, in as many ways as possible.

Until next time, and thank you for this site.

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