Perhaps more than ever, in (December) 2020 “A” is for “absence”. Absence of once taken for granted human interactions and loved ones, absence of once taken for granted activities, absence of once taken for granted stability, safety and opportunities, absence has marked the year in so many respects for most of us.
December is normally a difficult time for many, but I don’t think I’m wrong when I say this year a lot more people are feeling abandoned, alone, afraid, disenfranchised and forgotten. And in the year of abnormality – or of the “new normal”, as we so cleverly rebranded it in an attempt to put a positive spin on it, to adapt and survive – reaching out and offering much needed help and support often seems impossible. At the end of a year which has drained our resilience and creativity resources, finding the strength to not only move on, but to do it gracefully and to figure out how to be there for ourselves and others who need us might feel impossible.
But what other choice do we have? The alternative is unfathomable. I don’t know how all of you cope with it (do share if you feel like it), but I find that it’s acceptable to take a day to break down and vent once in a while (preferably not taking anyone else down with me) and then move on, focusing on awareness and on all the good I still do have in my life.
“A” is for abject and abhorrent this year, but it’s also for admirable. Extreme circumstances bring out extreme features in us… I don’t know how it went down in your corners of the world, but in mine, 2020 brought out the worst in people far more often than the best. This, however, only makes selflessness, generosity, support, caring, understanding and the people displaying them more admirable than ever.
Appreciation may be out of reach for many this year… because of all their losses. I’m too much of a cynic to say, there’s always something to be grateful for. But fortunately I’m not that much of a cynic in order not to be able to see that in my case – as in many others’ – it could have been a lot worse… It can still get worse, so in spite of all those moments of anger and annoyance – also appropriate December 2020 “A” words – in spite of losses and not always positive changes, I consider myself lucky, I still have so much I can appreciate.
On a brighter note, “A” is also for Athens, for art and architecture, in my case memories of better times and a source of hope… We need something to look forward to, don’t we? Here’s to hoping we won’t have to be in this situation for much longer! Until then, many thanks, Patti, for providing us with an inspiring boost of creativity (Lens Artists Weekly Challenge – Subjects That Begin with the Letter A).
Stay safe, everyone! I hope you’re having a bearable, if not nice, December.