Life in the Time of Coronavirus #7

The Moniack Mhor Writers Group, led by Cynthia Rogerson, has been meeting remotely during the Lockdown. They have been writing pieces inspired by the situation. Today’s piece is written by Sheila Lockhart.

Unlike most of my fellow Writers’ Group I have not found this ‘situation’ conducive to creativity; I have recently realized that this probably means I am no longer a writer, but merely a reader of others’ words, my own having dried up completely. It’s not an unpleasant sensation in itself, this dreamy, numb state of wordlessness, but unfortunately it comes accompanied by horrible envy of those who are making more fruitful use of lockdown. Never mind. Hilary Mantel, doom-ridden though she is, is strangely absorbing, and my stepfather’s 1918 letters from France, which I am transcribing for possible future use, make me thankful that I am, at least, not surrounded by endless mud, ruined towns and villages, unable to have a bath and woken in the night by the rumble of big guns, though many in the world still are, sadly. I peer over his tiny fading pencil scrawl with my magnifying glass, knowing what the outcome was for him, which he did not at the time (the same applies to Thomas Cromwell, of course) and I’m getting quite canny at anticipating the mistakes that my iPad’s typing-dictation function will make as I transcribe. No matter how many times I enunciate ‘the Boche’ in my best English accent, it just doesn’t seem to learn, and types ‘boss’ or ‘bush’ every time. Is this some kind of inbuilt political correctness, I ask myself? Strangely, it does seem to know ‘Fritz’ and even occasionally gets ‘the Hun’ right. ‘Jerry’ gives it no problem.

One little piece of good news yesterday, which reassured me that I could once write a half decent poem, despite many recent rejections: my poem ‘The Last Man’, inspired by the Tarradale Through Time archaeological dig, is going to be published in The Writers’ Cafe Magazine. Maybe one day in the distant future I will sift over the sands of these anxious times and unearth hidden treasure, and the poems will once more ‘flow from the hand unbidden’.

Views/opinions expressed are the author’s own and do not represent those of any individual from Moniack Mhor or Moniack Mhor itself. Copyright remains with the author.

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