Small Comforts – Slice of Life 14/31 #SOL

We work out together in the weightroom after school a few days each week and while running stairs to warm up, I mentioned the strangeness of this day, this moment before three weeks of school closures for the COVID pandemic. He says something that takes me aback, but then which quickly makes sense.

“We are healthy and safe. This isn’t a civil war.”

He says this so quietly, it sounds almost like a whisper. He has a gentle demeanor and previously mentioned his Indonesian ancestry. On Tuesdays, he leads free yoga sessions for teachers. I begin to wonder if he or his family might be familiar with civil wars, so I mutter agreement between breaths as we descend the stairs preparing for another ascent around the building. I’m suddently out of my body and my worries, and in my head in the lives of others.

His statement lingered, so once I was home, I decided to look into the history of Indonesia and found that the Indonesian Communist Purge from 1965-66 resulted in an estimated 500,000 to one million deaths at the hands of the government. This is new learning for me, but I have seen the aftermath of war. It has touched my family and I know it’s residue remains in the blood and bones of my parents. I have witnessed war in the students at Adult High School, many new Canadians; one of my Sudanese students in Writer’s Craft had one arm. Others wrote about their own emprisonment, torture; these pieces were painful learnings for me. They were transformations.

Suddently, the strangeness I had felt earlier seemed small and insular. The closing of schools as safeguard against a pandemic took on an air of reassurance, a small comfort that we are looking after one another.

9 thoughts on “Small Comforts – Slice of Life 14/31 #SOL

  1. Your slice illustrates quite plainly that we need each other in so many more ways than might be obvious. Your colleague’s statement helps put our current concerns and even panic into perspective. The fact that you took the time to go educate yourself rather than expecting him to do it, shows another kind of care and sensitivity.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Yes to your friend’s words and to your putting this new normal, which really is temporary, into perspective. We are looking out for one another. I also love that you took time to research and learn, something we all need to do when we’re tempted to think life in our time of abundance is so tough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your writing today. Perspective is everything. I heard a doctor interviewed yesterday that says our lack of knowledge about the situation and what might happen makes it more alarming to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This line- “Suddenly, the strangeness I had felt earlier seemed small and insular.”- it puts it all into perspective. We worry about schools closing and places closing, but it’s all to keep us safe. Hope you are enjoying your safety and health.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Healthy and safe” – we really are incredibly lucky. Our government is making decisions to keep us safe & most people are willing to work with the government. Our healthcare system is strong – even if it may get overwhelmed. This perspective shift is everything. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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