Brain Food #575

Something to look forward to

Thoughts of the day

Across continents, this week is bringing with it the faintest glimmers of hope that this summer we may be headed towards a return to what life used to be, or at least a flavour of it. Though this may come with a dose of naivety, and it will certainly not happen at the flick of a switch, we may soon start being able to go back to all the things we have missed, but also all the things we never expected to miss. We might find ourselves sitting in awe on a train carriage, watching landscapes whizz past, or staring at the clouds outside a plane window, or enjoying the smells of a coffee shop as we queue to get our morning coffee before going to the office, even if the wait is likely to make us late. We might go back to what was, with a newfound appreciation for what had been there all along.

Perhaps the thing that has been the most damaging throughout this time, beyond the lack of being able to see or touch loved ones, and the general insecurity the pandemic brought on many key aspects of life, has been the inability to plan ahead. Having something to look forward to has psychological benefits that -in times like these- may have a much bigger positive impact than focusing on the present.

And now, even though plans rarely go as imagined, we can shyly start to make them again, and think of the future, without feeling ridiculous or deeply delusional. To have something to look forward to, even if these are the in-between ‘little’ moments.

We may begin to feel like the hero in the poem below, dreaming on the verge of strife. But unlike him, we may now be very well prepared to face, and embrace, the seemingly meaningless moments that lie between major milestones.

On Rupert Brooke
by Frances Darwin Cornford

A young Apollo, golden-haired,
Stands dreaming on the verge of strife,
Magnificently unprepared
For the long littleness of life.

Roy Andersson Bus stop scene, obviously not all the characters but nice  backdrop of the building behind. | Roy andersson, Film inspiration, Film  stills
An unglamorous, and potentially uncannily familiar moment, from Roy Andersson’s You the Living, where a group of commuters is sheltering from the rain under a bus stop

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