By Cormac Culkeen
Howdo good folks, a very hearty hello, good morning, good afternoon, or evening, at whatever stage in the day these words find you. I hope this second semester, no matter what year you’re in, is a good one.
I won’t lie, this whole lockdown thang is quite the pendulum, feeling relatively stable and serene one week, then consumed with creeping despair the next. Silly as it may sound, this year will be the fifth anniversary of Prince’s death, and this played on my mind. It was the tinder, the lit fuse. It was playing his music that did it, after a period of enforced distance from it. ‘Pop Life’, ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘I Wish U Heaven’ are still no-go areas. Still bring on the waterworks. It still hurt, and the mind flowed like mercury from the world being robbed of a man whose music and attitude was nothing but a force for good.
This brought a spiral of thoughts to this being the world as it is, this current stifling reality of soldiering on in a vastly reduced sphere of movement, meetings and activities. A sudden blurt of writer’s block didn’t help. Or the neighbours upstairs. Or the bloody unrelenting weather. The walls began to loom and close in. Shadows detached themselves from the evening and darkened the room. It’s been a struggle, and I can only wonder and worry for the wellbeing of friends and fellow students.
If any of this resonates, all I can say is I hope that what you’re reading helps in saying you’re not alone. It’s the only advice worth a damn. Positive actions, positive activities, means, hopefully, a positive mind. Because this is a test for all of us, young and old, make no mistake. And, in a world where our daily routines and life that we took for granted has been boiled down to its essentials, my line is stick to your essentials. It can be anything. It can be romantic comedy marathons. It can be morning swims. It can be long walks, somewhere off the beaten path. It can be a phone call, a text message. It can be a day spent bouncing around on YouTube. It can be a good book. It can be the work on your respective course. It can be old football matches. What the hell, it can even be the televised implosion of the British royal family for all I care. Judgement isn’t worth a hill of beans at this stage.
What I’m labouring at here is, keep your mind and body occupied. Keep to the road you’re on. Keep in touch with your nearest and dearest. Keep in touch with your heart and be kind when the opportunity presents itself. Keep an eye out for the strange and weird of the everyday, the world even now can give us funny or inspiring moments. There is always something worth seeing. And what the hell, listen to music. The happy and the sad. The serious stuff and the fluff. Even Prince, even if it brings tears. Keep the heads up, and stay contrary.