• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 06

Home schooling

We sit inside our houses while sunny days happen without us, and we learn about exponential growth.

The endless graphs and their upward lines are dizzying, vertiginous. Those lines are scaling mountains, ill-advised climbers who chose not to read meaning into careful phrases. Those lines saw green for go, not red for stop.

We sit inside our houses while sunny days happen without us, and we learn new words.

Politicians take up sniper positions behind podiums to shoot into our living rooms, syllable bullets that bounce off our walls, leaving pockmarks, leaving noise ringing in our ears. In their Savile Row flak jackets, the politicians redefine words.

Advice (ədˈvaɪs); noun; [2020] an INSTRUCTION that someone gives you about what you MUST do or how you MUST act in a particular situation.

Our new language speaks of keeping apartness, but uniting togetherness. Contradictions are what we cling to now.

For example, see: curves are not flat – but we shall make them so.

For example, see: we shall be magnets that repel in flesh but bond in metaphor.

For example, see: unskilled shall no longer mean undervalued.*

*With the exception of remuneration, and protection, and terms and conditions.

Contradictions are what we cling to now.


Home schooling

What we once did, we cannot do. What we planned to do, we change. What we do now, we never did before.

But, perhaps, we have a new faith.

Once a week at a preordained time, we pick up our pots and we pick up our pans and we bring them together in our hands and we raise a din to ricochet across to the terrace opposite and we hear it return back to us, in a kind of hymn, in a kind of prayer. We watch our neighbours do the same. We wave, and smile, and cheer, then retreat inside again and shut the door, and lock it tight. But we carry some of that din within us through the next seven days. We hope it has reached inside airless corridors fluorescent with stress and fear. We hope that it has reached inside rooms of machines that breathe for people who cannot. We hope it has reached the people inside the rooms, all of them, on either side of the line.

Ours is a strange communion, this blue-lit worship.

But, perhaps, we have a new faith.


once togetherness in spirit becomes unity in frame form flesh
once the climbers come down the other side of the mountain
once exponential growth turns to exponential decline
once we have turned a curve into a straight line
once the unskilled are valued in every sense
once we are free to follow advice, or not

once we are free

then perhaps, if we let it, our new faith will serve us well, as we step outside into the sun again.