I will speak only for myself here because I am sometimes quite weird, and many of my feelings and emotional responses to things seem entirely unique in some way. I will share this with you just in case some of you might be realizing similar things.
I feel like I have glaucoma of the spirit and the world is slowly fading away. The worst part of this is I don’t really care. I am obviously angry about what is happening in the world. I spew out all these words about it in my articles. I am in the game, engaged, willing to work hard to do my part. But my personal world is fading, and again, I don’t seem to care. Anyone else feel the same way?
Sorry to get so personal with you, but you folks are my Shrew Family, so I don’t mind sharing this with you. I do live under difficult circumstances: I have lost a TON of friends. Some of them were very close friends. I never in a million years thought having a differing opinion about putting untested, strange chemicals in my body would cause my friends to think I was some sort of repulsive monster, but that is obviously what has happened. Maybe if they found out I was poisoning old people or eating babies they would decide I was not someone to be friends with. Of course, that is exactly what they think I AM doing. But there is clearly no evidence for this assumption. So, I have lost maybe 80% of my “old friends”—people I have known most of my life. That alone can make you wonky. I also do not feel free to gallivant around the world, or at least the country or province, rubbing elbows with super shrews. I think I would feel much better getting more deeply involved, but I don’t for obvious reasons I will not get into here.
I was, before Covid swept all of us up, an avid concertgoer. I come from a classical music background (I composed music for film and television for 30 years in Hollywood before taking up a new career and moving to Canada). Attending classical music concerts, as well as theatre productions, throughout Ontario, and anywhere else I lived before moving here, was a very frequent activity for me. Once the dreaded Covid hit, all the venues closed, as you well know. After they started to re-open, most of them still required masks and proof of vaccine. When those particular mandates started to relax, I still didn’t go. You would think I would be anxious to return to “normal” but something seemed to have died in me. Not so much my love of music and theatre (at least I didn’t think so at the time), but being in public, at a public venue, just did not appeal to me anymore.
I got such a horrible taste in my mouth, I just wasn’t interested in checking out what venues then allowed mask-less patrons, or unvaccinated “scum” to enter the sanctity of their hallowed premises. I know, at this writing, there are still theatres around the country (US and Canada) who require masks, some ask for vaccination proof, and nearly all of them require the actors or musicians who work as entertainers to be fully vaccinated (whatever that means these days). Maybe by the time you read this much of what I say here will have moved even further toward “normalcy” but I don’t believe the attitude behind it has changed much—both the attitude of the owners of these facilities, and the attitude of the patrons and employees. Unmasked people, and for sure unvaccinated people, are still to be persecuted and avoided—they are unclean.
I don’t find the world out there to be very accommodating, and I doubt if I ever will again, at least not in the way that I used to. I don’t really want to participate in group activities with people I am not sure will accept me as a fellow human being.
But my aversion may go deeper than that, and this is the part I worry about. I am afraid that maybe even the love of music has waned a bit, which seems extremely odd to me. As they say, “don’t use it, lose it.” I feel like the elephant trained to live as if on a ten-foot chain. Therefore, nothing beyond that ten-foot perimeter is of any interest to me. It has faded away.
But is this just my own personal psychology? Maybe there are many other reasons that I am losing interest in living a full life. I think about concentration camp victims. We have been led to believe someone in prison for any length of time dream about juicy steaks, and what keeps them alive is thinking of hugging their loved ones again, and sitting on the front porch in the cool of evening, free, free as a bird. I wonder if this is true. Or if they just lose sight of everything that once brought joy to their lives, and it all just sinks into fading memories.
I have a colleague who told me a story about one of her first clients. He was a guy who came fresh out of a federal prison. The prison’s resident psychiatrist told him that he was “institutionalized” (he had been locked up for 12 of his 30 years). The shrink explained that being institutionalized meant he would never acclimate to life “outside”—that he wouldn’t even be interested in doing so as it would all seem so inaccessible to him. The pen was, and always would be, more comfortable. He was back in within months.
I am not in prison, so I have no business comparing myself and my life to anyone who has had to endure the horror of extended incarceration. But maybe there is a little bit of that going on these days with a lot of people, not just me. And maybe it shows up differently for people, different than a feeling of encroaching blindness.
I see a lot of psychotherapy clients every week, and I must say many of them are describing a general malaise with life. Of course, many people before Covid were describing their life in these terms, and even though many people I see present depression before AND after Covid, I think a pall over the culture for many decades has helped bring us into this Covid age of psychological “deadness.” It basically set us up for the behavior that most people have exhibited during this time—fear, meaninglessness, anxiety, depression, and submissiveness to authority like we have seldom seen.
I find many things colored differently than before. The aforementioned desire and excitement about “going out,” listening to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, watching ballet with the National Ballet of Canada, watching and listening to opera, musical theatre, all of this has been noticeably deadened. I also find an aversion to any sort of ZOOM gathering, but stranger still is an aversion to going to a conference with a room full of people, or a sporting event, or going on a cruise, or even venturing into a crowded airport or a foreign country. None of this has the appeal it once had. Is this something only shrews suffer? Probably so to this degree, since a huge part of the uncomfortable aspect is the “leper syndrome”—a general feeling of being unwelcome outside the confines of home and outside the comfortable tribe of like-minded fellow shrews. Will this eventually wear off? If we were certain that all this Covid hoopla was legitimate and we were just dealing with a transient health issue, then maybe so, but what we have and are currently experiencing is anything but that.
I think part of what I describe here is a consequence of being unvaccinated and persecuted. Part of it is a change in attitude (because I am a shrew) regarding the mindsets of my fellow humans. (I need not go into detail here, you all know what I am talking about.) But I think some of it, if not most of it, is due to a general dark cloud over the world. The dark cloud is not just created by those of us who know what is happening and what is likely about to happen, but rather due to the dark energy of those people, or entities, who are creating all of this. Even if not a single person knew for objective fact what is going on, everyone would feel the evil intention behind it.
Sheep and shrew alike are affected, the soul of the world is affected. The only way to deal with this is to stick together. To hold a light to the darkness, and to find peace and love wherever it can be found—mostly with each other, but also in nature, in art, and in music. God is with us.