And there goes a month of Sundays, documented in thirty or so notes from a castaway soul. Although if truth be known, it has felt more like a month of Tuesdays – each day drab and the same and never seeming to move us closer to a desired end.
In the classic Ivan Reitman Comedy Groundhog Day, cynical big city weather reporter Phil Connor (Bill Murray), is trapped in an endless loop of the frigid holiday in a small town. Each repeated day is predictable to the point that he can set his clock by the occurrences. At first, he is overwhelmed by despair. He overeats, he mocks his colleagues, he commits crimes and even drives off a cliff within the weird framework of the repetitive time. Yet every morning he wakes to the same day.
What happens next in the movie is worth noting. Through his abundant resource of time, Phil finds that the only changes that are lasting are the one he makes to himself. It is his internal change that leads to a slow betterment of his situation and ultimately in the community in which he is stuck. In the end he is rewarded with love, a sense of achievement and finally liberation from his limbo.
We have all run through a similar gamut of emotion during our enisling, each on our different trajectory. Fear has alternated with despair alternating with determination or resignation or hope. The world is shifting outside of our quarantine walls and we can do little to control it.
But we can control ourselves. We still have the ability to seek a betterment, either through impassioned study to more fully understand the situation or through ignoring the circumstances and dedicating to personal enrichment for ourselves and those family or friends who share our islands. Like Phil, we can learn bit by bit until we know something about French poetry or jazz piano. Along the way, we can use our newfound knowledge to make a friend or make a deal or even if chance will offer it to fall in love.
Our month has been long and grueling. That it will continue for another month or more is both frustrating and desperate. But our time on our islands will end. The small things that we have learned or experienced or built or materialized there will be with us for the rest of our lives.
[This Post was adapted from a essay originally published on Facebook the day listed above]