It seems to me that a giant reset button is being pushed as many people quarantine themselves out of obligation or preference. When China shut down, the satellite images showed a dramatic decrease in pollution, the canals in Venice Italy have turned clear and reviving sea life, parents are spending time with their children, young people are making choices on behalf of the elderly. I generally live a very isolated life, when I am not traveling, so nothing has changed for me, except suddenly I feel I am in community (there are others in the same boat as me---social distancing of course).
Governments are addressing the pandemic in military terms, as they are prone to do. I fear that it can turn authoritarianism into greater authoritarianism, every state will look more and more like a police state. But in general I don't only look at what governments do, but what is happening on the grassroots. Its like a rock, when you pick up the solid unmoving mass there is life swarming underneath.
I hope each one of you can be the change you want to see. Your motivation may be out of fear or out of grace. May all of us have our love button reset.
So I have, as I alluded been in isolation for some time. For a while I was struggling to get into some kind of rhythm, and increasingly I have become more productive. I am starting my new novel and also working on an event (actually a couple of events) that will be in 2021. Since returning from India I have been analyzing what the writing workshops that I held in India were all about, I hope to see the paper I submitted to the Journal of Adivasi and Indigenous Studies be accepted and published in August. The project to publish in India is kind of on hold as I wait to hear from those who I am working with in India.
In regards to the novel I am finding that I can write about how I and my ancestors discovered and lived among another culture (as I did in Among the Original Dwellers see website), but the question about how I can authentically represent that other culture is a true challenge. The novel is about a relationship between a missionary women (Doris) and an Adivasi Oraon woman (Singhini). I must do so much more research to get Singhini's side of the story.
I am doing a great deal of soul searching about my true motivations for writing about this other culture that I do not "know". Why is it important? In many ways I wish to carry on the legacy of my ancestors, great=great-grandparents. I am concerned about the attack on all minorities in India right now, that is most glaringly apparent towards the Muslims, but will and is spreading to all who are not in the Hindu fold. I am conscious that voicing such a concern makes me a rebel-rouser and puts me in a precarious position. But it is because, even though only an expat. I have a great love for India and I do not wish it any harm, or to self destruct.
And so this brings me to the title of this blog. Who is the silent enemy? Who are we opposed to, what are we fighting against? Not to use military terms, but medical terms. Immune systems must be strong enough to fight this Corona virus, the silent enemy. What of our social and moral stamina, is it immune to the silent enemy that can so easily divide and conquer.
As I say, these are questions I am considering. Thought since it has been such a long time since I added to my blog, I would share these thoughts.
These musings include the journey of my writing on the history of my great great grandparents and the travels for research to India, Germany and other places of interest.