This entry began on Day 109 in the time of coronavirus and then was interrupted. Here it is, with the up to date entry arriving next. I’ve been aware of the noise from our mainstream media detailing the latest breakouts from isolation facilities. To me existing in a quieter zone right now the hyperbole and agitation seems unnecessary and counterproductive in the time of a pandemic. I think again why is it necessary to focus on the negative, the dark, the grisly, the sensational and exaggerate their significance? Where does this code of practice and mode of being come from? It seems a mile away from a zen way of being in the world. For the fact remains we are in an enviable position globally. We’ve had no community transmission of the virus now for two months. We’re doing as well as Taiwan and Vietnam, indeed it’s because we followed the example of Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-wen, who went into lockdown swiftly back in January to stem the spread of the virus and eliminated it, that we’ve done so well. The real issue worth pondering here is the role of the media in the dissemination of information. For there is an imbalance in both national and international responses to these successes, whereby our story has been privileged over that of Taiwan and Vietnam who led the way. Why is that? The world is but one people. We are all the same under the skin, there is no distinction because of skin colour, we are unified, as my mother who was Baha'i, would say. And yet all is not equal. This is a race issue. In an article published in The Spinoff, ‘Amid all NZ’s Covid back-patting, let’s not forget the country that did it first,’ Ron Hanson, a kiwi journalist living in Taiwan challenges our racist stereotypes. I will post it for it is thought-provoking reading.
The other reason for feeling removed from the chatter is that it pales into insignificance in the midst of awaiting the birth of a grandchild. For now my own reality has slowed down to child-time as I stay with my grandson and his parents. This is a refreshingly simple and heart-warming place to be. As I type on my laptop in my grandson’s bedroom— I’m sharing his room — occasionally I hear a small sigh reminding me he is here. Sleeping peacefully.
In the time of waiting we went down to the beach this afternoon, his happy place, and I watched him play. He was content to sit for a while on the tartan rug and contemplate the wind surfers, their bright purple and turquoise sails, like wings in a lego set, cutting across the sea and then to explore and dream and imagine on his own without input from me. This seemed a perfect way for a child to pass time as he faces into a major change in the life of his family, the arrival of a sibling. We lost count, today, of how many times he said to his mother, ‘Mama I love you.’ And she replied steadily,’ Yes I know that and I love you.’ Silence. ‘Mama I will always be part of your family.’ Yes, she said, 'you will.
Up and down the small dune he went chatting to himself. Up and down, up and down. He found a stick and then another and poked them in the sand. Poke, poke, poke. And what do you know he flicked up a grub. I’d never seen such a creature in the sand before, it was fat and pale like a huhu grub, with many tiny feelers wriggling. I really don’t know what it was. We examined it for a moment and then decided to help it back into its hole. Then we made our way home.
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