Survival kit

It’s not that bad, but it’s not too easy either. Many of us are lucky to have a place where we can comfortably reflect on our discomfort. If we continue to lament on social media, it means we’re not doing too bad. The restrictions make us too easily forget what we still have and that we’re quite far from the supposed apocalypse claiming our attention from every side. We’re far from that, but we’re also far from the ease we used to take for granted. It’s like a douleur sourde halfway between pain and its absence. And this is something prompting us to find out what’s really wrong. It might be the sudden shift in stimuli, the change in the conditions of our daily existence, but I suspect it’s also our (in)ability to adjust to the sudden shift in those stimuli. Whatever it may be, we reach for the survival kit. Every one has a different one. Here’s mine. In other words, here are the 10 things that have helped me bear this confinement with Zeno’s stoicism and Martial’s cheerfulness:

  • watching Daniel Hope and Christoph Israel’s daily Hope@Home live concerts on ARTE
  • following Octave Parango’s mischiefs through Frédéric Beigbeder’s irreverent novels
  • preparing myself for when the Sicilian government subsidizes the cost of flights to the island once the restrictions are lifted
  • keeping this blog going
  • playing Scrabble with 15 people every day
  • listening to France Inter’s Le Masque et la Plume for confinement literary relief and to NPR’s Hidden Brain for insights into human (mis)behaviour.
  • meeting friends for evening frolics around a tripod-mounted iPhone and a bottle of Negroamaro
  • watching my balcony lavender and olive tree growing and blooming.
  • binge screening Clouzot, Fellini, Brissac, Antonioni, Bergman, Verdone, Totò and Sorrentino
  • writing about Dante and trying my hand at worthless verse.

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