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Days Of Future Passed

It’s about making the best out of a situation. Notice that I didn’t use the word “bad”. The situation where Hong Kong finds itself today, and though it’s Okay to reminisce about the good old days, is knowing that the hills will not come alive anytime soon with the sound of music and Julie Andrews twirling and dancing and firing on all cylinders over the horizon.

There are plenty of people with time on their hands, and one has to wonder how they’re spending this time. Posting motivational messages on Facebook? Getting lost in the comments section of Amber Heard click bait?

Maybe this is the result of working from home for too long and unproductive Zoom calls?

It’s not only Hong Kong that’s pretty much sitting in limbo and twiddling its thumbs either though this masked city always has something that needs to be done in the way of testing and vaccinations as we’re still far far away from Living With Covid.

The entire world has changed, and in order to have as meaningful a life as possible during the time we’re here, there’s a need to somehow change one’s mindset- though it’s always good to err on the side of caution.

Why? To avoid the disappointment of things not working out, and also being honest enough to admit that we’re not going to be suddenly hit by a tsunami of creativity.

Frankly, most of us are drowning in a sea of mediocrity and a lowering of standards. The Peter Principle is back with a vengeance.

During my recent week in mandatory purgatory hotel quarantine in Hong Kong, I must have gone through every possible emotion- numb, laughing, crying, overthinking, comfortably numb, panic... Eight days a week can be a long, long time.

That week, where I travelled Back To The Future, into The Shining, down Penny Lane, saw The Dark Side Of The Moon and clicked my magic shoes and went to Oz with Toto, changed me forever.

I’m still processing it all while trying to find my sea legs and wean myself off Panadol and tranquillisers.

There’s a helluva lot to absorb and even more to let go. It’s like having taken acid and trying to describe your trip to someone who doesn’t even drink Coca-Cola.

It’s now all about not carrying that weight, something the Beatles sang about.

At least for myself, there are so many life lessons in their songs along with everything else those four fabs went through in their not always so fab lives.

In their music are lessons I never learned in school and didn’t hear before.

Especially today, where you never stop learning as there’s a whole new abnormal to understand, this “study class” might be happening all around, but extremely few have mentors or teachers or anything approaching answers.

I work with others from time to time, and that’s ok, but there’s also a disconnect. We come from very different backgrounds.

My real work is done alone. This helps give me a place in space and time to maybe find those answers.

What’s not needed are unnecessary distractions and listening to vapid obladioblada goo goo ga joob.

As I keep reminding myself, we are only honest with ourselves when putting one’s head onto the pillow.

The rest of the time, we’re performers onstage playing allocated roles and hoping no one notices.

This is especially true of the online world that was inherited by the real world fairly recently with its own Nowhere Man, Eleanor Rigby, Mean Mister Mustard, Blue Meanies etc.

Has everything going on over (and out) there simplified everything trying to happen in the here and now- but simplified in a way that stunts growth? You tell me.

After those eight days a week away agonising whether She loves you, or she loves you not, it somehow suddenly doesn’t matter. A voice keeps whispering, “Close the book, Hans, and get back to the girl with the kaleidoscope eyes”.

You’re suddenly that Fool On The Hill.

You look around and there’s no one there.

You don’t want to talk to anyone because you don’t know anyone who has something interesting to say.

Maybe this is it: You’re reborn and a new life is here for you to make the best of it.

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