Lockdown Pondering

Instead of writing my novel I am staring at a bunch of bananas, or more precisely at the juxtaposition of the fruit with a box of Gourmet cat food, a calendar, jars of pasta, a face flannel and a pack of hair grips. The randomness of this arrangement reflects the insanity of my life during these Covid months. If ever there was a plot I have truly lost it along with any desire to keep a tidy house. The absence of visitors due to the restrictions has eroded my inner hausfrau. Instead I have developed a taste for the creativity of chaos. I used to be one for everything in its place, now I think there is a place in everything.

I keep thinking about the paradox of Schrödinger’s cat. If no one speaks to me or sees me or hears me for several days there is the equal probability that I am both dead and alive at the same time. The reality of my existence is not validated by others. For ten months I’ve been living in a grainy gritty twilight zone like a scene from a movie shot on Super8. I need to keep looking in the mirror just to check I’m still here. There’s always a tingle of surprise when I see myself, relatively unscathed, looking back.

I am writing this with a yellow pen and therefore prone to optimism.

image created by the author

7 thoughts on “Lockdown Pondering

  1. you write:

    // For ten months I’ve been living in a grainy gritty twilight zone like a scene from a movie shot on Super8. I need to keep looking in the mirror just to check I’m still here. There’s always a tingle of surprise when I see myself, relatively unscathed, looking back. //

    A life of compelled social isolation in a world in which people in stores and even on the streets go about masked and expressionless so that you can’t be sure they’re really people at all is a surreal place, unfit for humans occasionally and fatally given to thinking for themselves. I share some, at least, of your pain. And I fear that now that the power hungry have found that they can get away with this, they’ll keep doing it. One will somehow adapt, thankfully, but, also, alas.

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  2. Hi David, good to hear your thoughts. I agree about masks being dehumanising even if they are necessary. In the winter everyone is muffled up with hats and scarves so only the eyes are visible. So much human communication is non-verbal. And online platforms such as Zoom are a poor substitute for real contact. I worry for younger people as the longer this goes on the long term effects on mental health will be vast. I am a loner at heart so I know I’ll get through although I have some bad days. And while incompetent governments prevaricate the rich and greedy are making vast sums of money out of this nightmare. Keep well wherever you are David. ☺️

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  3. A very clever, sparkling, read and image, Nikita. A little craziness is perfectly okay, and I’d say de rigueur for writers. Glad the mirror worked, I prefer not to see the red-eyed unshaven phantasm that looks back at me. If it’s any consolation, the Schrödinger’s cat story paradox of quantum mechanics, although widely believed, is not true.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Steve. To be honest I’ve never seen the point of S’s cat story. Is it that nothing is real unless it is proven? Or is our universe entirely subjective? There are some facts on which most of us agree which we then label as reality although mass consensus is becoming less and less likely in our present world. Donald Trump with his ‘alternative facts’….! Sorry more rambling here but it’s almost 2am and I should be asleep or perhaps I am asleep….😴

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      1. My pleasure. The S cat is about the “transition” from the quantum probability realm where everything is uncertain: electrons etc aren’t in one place, there’s only a probability that you will find them at x when you look. The observer is supposed to cause this “condensation” from a probability cloud to a single particle, ie, because they looked.

        The cat is set up so that a quantum mechanical event kills it in the box with a certain probability, so until the observer looks, the cat isn’t alive or dead, but in a QM mixed state.

        The S cat sounds like nonsense, and it is. I hope to write about it in a chapter of a physics book I’m planning if I ever have time. My view: our real physical world is not subjective, yes, it’s based on a common understanding of how things work, and it’s right, except for rarefied debatable matters concerning the universe etc. Otherwise humans wouldn’t have evolved. Trump is an exception.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain S’s cat story Steve. I hope you write that book. And thank goodness Trump is a exception! Could he possibly be an alien from Planet Orange? As for cats we do need a theory explaining how they can disappear into thin air like mine does! Hope you’re well Steve. Reading your posts are my highlights on WordPress. 😊

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You’re welcome, Nikita. I hope I write it too, having a bit of spare time would help, months go by so quickly.

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump has some sort of evil power, I don’t think he’s going away.

            That’s why cats were worshipped, I suspect, also because they’re aloof, we serve them. Thanks again, and I hope to do a post eventually. *sigh*

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