It was very difficult to describe in words what the beginning and now the conclusion of phase 2 meant for me.
My thought started from the statement found on the cover of the new book by Paolo Giordano Nel contagio:
"I'm afraid [...] that the fear passes in vain, without leaving a change behind".
Perhaps this is the concept I have been working on the most over the past two weeks. Did all this really make us change, or at least think differently? How much has my life changed? Did it really change it?
On the morning of Monday May 4th, I realized that everything had changed, even if imperceptibly.
Everything had remained in its place, but it looked different, changed in some detail. It was like someone had taken the hands of a clock and pushed them forward.
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After 53 days of quarantine and isolation from everyday life and the outside world, phase 2 started for me. Before I looked at the world from the window or from the terrace of my house, while at that moment I started looking at it from the window of my car. If before I felt safe within the home, in the car I felt disoriented. Was I really returning to normal? Did I think so? (Spoiler alert the answer is no).
The morning of May 4th was the day I started living my life in an ordinary way. I went back to my office and something went wrong inside me. I returned to the spaces that, until two months before, were familiar, my day, my daily life, my rhythm.
Here, that rhythm, I didn't feel it faster, more rhythmic, but slow, different, almost unknown.
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To be clear, if before the rhythm was more similar to that of a Rolling Stone song, now it was and is more similar to that of a Lana Del Rey song. Two completely different but apparently but equal worlds. I'll explain. There were always the same people, the same road to travel by car, the same hours of work, but everything was and is different.
If I had to choose a word, which, describing my state of mind, I would choose: disorientation. This is the feeling that has accompanied me since the beginning of this phase. Maybe he still accompanies me because it is as if I had to do everything for the first time.
The return to the workplace more than resembling returning from vacation was similar to the first day of school, when you have to get used to new spaces, understand things to do, your new day and people.
Colleagues, your friends, are the same but different at the same time. Unfortunately we are the means that dragged us into this pandemic. That is our contacts, our hugs, our handshakes, our being physically present for others. Our being there simply.
We use a mask, we can't hug each other to feel a little closer and relieved to be able to see each other again. To be able to do it in a place that, fortunately for us, is still ours. A place, however, aseptic, made of distances.
And that's where I realize that everything is the same but it is also different. The air is different, the climate we live is different, the time we live is different.
From all this diversity, from this loss of the compass, I said to myself that beauty can be born again. To fear, uncertainty, disorientation, we must replace beauty. This time so far from the one before, must make us understand that there will be a more aware era from today.
So, today Monday 18th May, also called the beginning of phase 3, I ask myself "how did I expect to live this phase 2?". Not so full of pathos, surely, but I understood that now is my time, it is the moment I am living and, willy-nilly, it must be my normalcy.
How do I expect phase 3? I do not want to put so many expectations in her, but I hope not to go back from the start like at Monopoli.