I love Easter with all its woozy edges: its fusion Christian-Paganism; the chocolate orgy; the Lamb, Lent and Liturgy. I love its elusive timing – the fact that it moves about – the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox – and I think this lunar timing should be extended to as many key events of the year as possible. I love the swirling chaos of symbolism: Christ and the Bunnies and the Hot Cross Buns, it’s all good.
If Easter has a sharp poignancy, a moment as we emerge out of Vitamin-D-deprived winter into still-cold Scottish Spring, it feels so much more so this year. The heightened sense of the NEED for light, hope, re-growth, re-birth, bird-song, SEX, renewal, touch, conviviality, warm sun on your face, is palpable.
As folk tumbled out into the parks last week, and the inevitable littering/outcry performance ensued, I wonder if anyone has done any thinking about how we re-emerge? I’m assuming the answer is no.
But the pent-up frustration and obedience, the mental-heath toll, the backlog of inertia isn’t going to dissipate without incident. I suspect many of us will struggle with re-socialising, I suspect the ‘release’ from lockdown may be much more messy and chaotic than we assume as people realise and share just how difficult this has been.
As we emerge fat and woolly, our hands and our lips coated with alcohol, concussed by domesticity, tamed but scared, angry but heavily sedated, collectivised but isolated, kidding-on we all want to get back to normal – let’s not assume the over-curated consensus that we all want to return to things as they were before.
How and what we re-construct, what we let die, what we celebrate and retain from lockdown needs discussed. Here’s ten things I want to keep (add yours):
- Clean air from no-flying – bring on the flygskam
- 15 Minute cities
- Working from home (not the same as living in work)
- The explosion of bikes, e-bikes, scooters, skateboards, cargo bikes
- Roads being cleared for pedestrians
- Protecting nature, appreciating nature – as restoration and defence against future pandemic
- Collective experience – discuss what matters
- Unlearn Consumerism
- Reduce emissions
- Unlearn popular culture
Almost all of this has been done very badly, only glimpsed at or is too early to appreciate, but the pause in endless/mindless consumption and the moment to re-think how we lay out cities has been very useful and needs to be carefully nurtured. The sense of a massive experimental collective experience is an invaluable one – as is the realisation that the people who are exploited need to resist and all of us need to awaken to the need for solidarity and transformative change and rupture.
If optimism is a wildly unachievable post-pandemic spirit to aspire to, maybe we can plant a seed of hope this Easter from these fragments? As we emerge we must nurse our wrath to keep it warm and remember not to direct it at each other, but at the failed elite who have been exposed as never before. As we settle to worship Cadbury’s and our unlikely but wonderful resurrection lets plant and grow something much better this Springtime.
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