During the first season of the pandemic we were CLOSED off from the world, from each other, and from the people, things, and places we love and that make our lives worth living. Then, due to distant rumblings that rose to a resounding crash, we OPENED the doors (to varying degrees) in the next pandemic season.
As humans we have sacrificed, we have suffered, we have died (both literally and figuratively, corporeally and corporately). We and our world will forever bear the scars of this time. And, of course, this time is not yet over. OPEN and CLOSED doors are not beginnings or endings but simply a passage to something yet unknown. Whether we stand poised at our doors or have already rushed through them, this is a time to think about just what those words OPEN and CLOSE really mean. We hear them used in so many ways: open/closed society, network, connection, mind, economy, schools, business etc. What are the first things that come to your mind as you consider the politics, the emotion, the psychology of OPENING and CLOSING? We can all hear The Call of the Open (as Percy Shelley writes) while simultaneously considering Garous Abdolmalekian‘s lines:
I write: one daythe missing keys will be recovered.What should we do about the missing locks.
One last thing, can we at this moment in time ever be truly CLOSED because we are so interconnected? From the spread of the virus to the supply chain to the rules that govern our disparate CLOSINGS and OPENINGS we have learned that we cannot CLOSE ourselves off from the “other” and so perhaps as we contemplate and write we should consider our counterparts. My choir director has an exercise that he is fond of when we are working through a challenging piece. He directs us to listen to our counterparts. So as a soprano I must find a bass to listen to and vice versa. The altos must each find a tenor and vice versa. So, by all means, write from your heart and from your gut, but also OPEN yourself up and spend some time writing from and to your counterpart as well.
Don’t forget to share your writing using the #JustWrite hashtag and check out the writing community the Morehead Writing Project formed to support us during these trying times.