To Whoever You May Be,
For a couple of days, I tried to think to whom I would address my Letter From Lockdown, but no name felt right. What I had to say wasn’t directed to anyone in particular, so I guess it’s for you, whoever you are, reading this. A stream of thoughts, feelings and sensations that have been growing through me since the beginning of this.
It’s mid-April already.
I’m in France, the wind is hissing in the trees and I am wearing shorts. One month ago I was in England wearing a coat.
There’s a white and warm sky over my town and I’m listening to London Thunder by Foals. “Everyone is given the same amount of time. But the depth of that time he and I spent was completely different”, I don’t know who’s that from, I heard it in a video someday, but I wish it was from me because it resonated as a few things did before. What we live doesn’t measure itself in terms of length, neither should be entirely valued by it.
I think we spend a lot of time doubting ourselves while some are afraid or impressed by our potential. We sometimes lose so much energy trying to people please or bottling up when there’s no need.
I’ve been thinking about the massive hook-up culture in university, this free-bird thing, and how it absolutely corresponds to me as much as it does not.
Also, I saw how much we are influenced by this trend of being cool through social media, cool at all cost, this cool concept that means a bunch of different and contradictory things and asks people to be a bit of everything but not too much, and the more careless the better.
Very often I think of the people that live lockdown in terrible conditions. The poor people, the abused people, the immigrants. It reminds me of the injustice of our world and how disappointed and ashamed I am of it. Of these so-called developed countries we live in.
On a more personal level, I’ve been wondering if studying in the school I’m in is what I want. The answer is that it has never truly been, but it was a time where I needed to make my way into it and I did. Yet sometimes I wonder if I could not accomplish what I want without a film school and just be where I want to be instead. To just do what I’m passionate about by myself.
For now, I’m here, and the outside world is forbidden, and each day looks the same, and to my questions, I have no answers. So I’ll play the safe card. For now.
Often lately, either late at night of very early in the morning to be sure not to be disturbed, I sit on the 5 feet wall that surrounds my house. I observe the empty street and do nothing.
This beloved world, now asleep, asleep beyond these houses and these roads, as if the time we have now isn’t made of the same things the one we had before was.
I’m longing for the outside world, longing for the people and places I call home, for my life that I won’t get back before a little while, although I am surprised by my rationality and how I manage to keep my head on straight.
I think I do know myself quite well, yet, sometimes, it’s like I wasn’t really sure of the things I’m made of. What is Mel made of. What are the things, not the people, not the places, not the loves that you have, or the school you go to, or what you want as a career, that makes you, you.
I think I’ve always known but now that the dread of the lockdown days is blurring everything around, I’m now sure of it. And when I think about it, that’s maybe what most of us are made of:
I am made of pure freedom and aim. Sometimes even a wildness that expresses itself in teenage-like energy. I never listened to the restrictions that were put upon me since the day I was born, and I cannot stay still. “I am running because I can, because I must. Because I want to see how far I can go before I have to stop”, again, not a clue whose that from, but well said.
I am made of chaotic good impulses and craving the whole world fearlessly. Being aware of how precious our time is and, with this awareness, wanting to live my life as faithfully as possible to my desires in the capitalist, deeply unfair and complex world we live in.
I’ve never been a big home buddy, I am rarely inside and always doing something somewhere with someone – how I miss my Monday nights with Billy, meeting up in a random place, walking through town and ending up in a fancy bar ordering overpriced cocktails we cannot afford and talking and messing around for hours.
This is what I’m made of. What nourishes all the rest, all of my character.
Actually, were we born to be anything else but tremendously alive, to an immodest point? And hoping to do some good in the world?
Yesterday, my younger brother asked me: “Where is the first place you’ll go to when lockdown ends?” And I couldn’t give him a straight answer.
I just wanted my freedom back, wherever or whoever it would lead me to first.
Ah, I’ve also told myself I would try to improve my Spanish. Truth is week 5 is coming to an end and I still either sound very confused, or bossy, or flirty. But I guess the last one will do for a hopefully very – probably very – later summer 2020 in Barcelona.