The following blog entry includes prose and poetry about my own experience with Covid-19 back in September-October. I decided to leave most of my writing in its initial and raw form because it vibrates with my physical and mental struggle with the virus. It is a stream of consciousness if you will. It certainly is a desperate attempt to put in words the 19 days of being sick with the virus that changed our lives.
20/9/2020 – 5th day of the virus
Uneasy feeling: my stomach refuses food, it feels as if all food has stopped making sense. I want to feel better – so bad. Please let this phone call be quick and painless, like a bandage that’s not needed anymore.
Αυτή η αναμονή με σκοτώνει. Δεν μπορώ να συγκεντρωθώ. Κοιτώ τον ήλιο – αυτόν τον ήλιο που μάτωνε τα γόνατα – τον κοιτώ κατάματα μήπως και μου δώσει απαντήσεις. Το καθαρό μπλε του ουρανού κοιτώ, το καθάριο συναίσθημα που μου δίνει. Χάνομαι στο βάθος αυτού του μπλε, του έντονου μπλε του ουρανού. Γράφοντας κοιτώ το κενό, τα μάτια μου τσούζουν από τον ήλιο. Είμαι ακόμη άρρωστη, να πάρει, κι όμως νιώθω πως η αρχή του τέλους απλά … τελειώνει. Χρειάζομαι ησυχία και γαλήνη και ηρεμία και όλες αυτές τις λέξεις που κρατάς σφιχτά στην αγκαλιά όταν νιώθεις χαμένος. ‘Η γλώσσα είναι σε μένα’. Είναι μέσα μου, βαθιά και αχώριστα στο σώμα μου, μ’ ερωτεύεται κάθε μέρα και εγώ την ερωτεύομαι ξανά και ξανά κάθε φορά που πιάνω τα μολύβια μου. Η έκφραση της ζωής, η εξήγησή της είναι κανόνας μαγικός και δεν μπορώ να ξεφύγω από τα όριά του. Θα ήθελα όλες οι λέξεις μέσα μου να έβγαιναν, σαν γάργαρα νερά να γλιστρούσαν από μέσα μου και επάνω στο χαρτί, λευκό και άτρωτο, μέχρι να γεμίσει λέξεις αναλλοίωτες στο χρόνο.
Exploring an eternity of Septembers, again and again reacting to time and space.
Do you remember that moment in time when you felt the world was going to crush us down? Yes, so many of them – multiple moments, multiple times. Escaping the earthly world to hid behind the words.
21/9/2020 – 6th & 1st day of the virus
Yesterday I received a call that I have Corona. And I do. And it’s in me. And I hate it.
I feel OK. Not too many symptoms. No fever. No cough. I am sneezing today. If I do too much, I feel tired and drained. I want this to be over. I want it to get out of my body. The numbness, the tingling in my head. The swollen glands and loss of smell. I feel utterly confused and violated.
If I do too much, I feel tired and drained. I want this to be over.
The very first day I felt a scratching sensation in my throat. It stressed and scared me, but I moved on to go for a ride with my bike and take pictures. When I reached a certain point in the Onlanden – a wonderful natural region in Groningen – I walked toward the narrow path, only to discover how silent it was. A type of white silence surrounded me, it caressed my ears, almost like an old friend; it spoke to me, told me stories of the past and of the future, stories I would have liked hearing in my sleep. The silence embraced me, tingled my soul and my then full ears. I walked slowly and mindfully, feeling the soles of my feet every step of the way.
The narrow path I took that day
23/9/2020 – 8th day of the virus
I feel numb at times, feeling the need to taste and smell everything I put my hands on. The loss of two of my senses makes me feel incomplete, almost non-human, a development of the virus through my body that I would have never expected. I feel that a big part of me is taken away from me. I feel empty, drained, agitated. And people laugh, they dismiss it. I have to explain how it feels in simple terms, so that they get it. What do they know? It’s so great speaking of it when you’re not experiencing it. I wish they’d shut up about it. “You’re lucky!”, “You should be grateful”, “Don’t overreact”, “It’s just a cold”, just a cold, just a cold, just a cold. If it was just a cold, then why do I feel like that? Totally disconnected from my own body. The thoughts that go through my head are not connected with the ones that I feel through my body. Do you get what I mean? No one seems to get that. This virus is beyond a cold and the way it makes me feel is proof of that. If only I could put it into words. I want to break the barrier between my body and my mind and just write about it, talk about it. I want to be free, to be able to think, to liberate myself from this horrible disease.
If it was just a cold, then why do I feel like that? Totally disconnected from my own body.
25/9/2020 – 10th day of the virus
I am getting better. A veil is slowly lifting off my brain. There is an itch and burning sensation now in my brain and on my face. I still feel tired and managed to work yesterday, but my body starts to ache now like it is awakening from a deep slumber. Tingly face, tingly brain, I feel a little bit more like myself today. It’s been a ride. I feel so grateful, so grateful. Everything has a new light, a new shine, a new allure that I admire. Fall is here and I am grateful to be alive and healthy to experience it. It’s not that I saw death, no. But experiencing the virus was intense, physically but also mentally.
26/9/2020 – 11th day of the virus
The world keeps on moving – as always. I felt frustrated and suffocated again.
floods of … everything
inside my body
[ιέ φύγε απ’ αυτό το σπίτι]
no endings, nor holidays
expect me to find myself again.
I roar at silence
and commence again
my life journey.
Are you with me?
Rain tingles on the window
rough, but subtle sounds emerge,
we cry ourselves to sleep
lucky to have survived
27/9/2020 – 12th day of the virus
Waiting for the day till I find myself again.
This was the first of two blog entries about my Covid-19 experience. Stay tuned for the next article where I document the slow recovery from the virus.
Photo: Minolta Dynax 7000i (AF 35-105mm). Kodak Ektar, 100 ISO, 35mm film. De Onlanden, Groningen, the Netherlands, May 2020.