I told my husband the other day I felt like Atreyu in The Neverending Story when he’s walking through the Swamp of Sadness. You sink if you let despair overtake you, and that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling in the time of COVID-19 or The Neverending Quarantine.
Of course, after a couple drinks last night, I realized how parallel life is right now with this movie and this blog was born. “The Nothing” destroyed the world of Fantasia and we have our own disease (which feels the same because we can’t see it) destroying our world. It came out of nowhere and we weren’t prepared.
We are going on about Week 5 of this life and we feel we’ve already been doing this forever. When Morla (the giant turtle) tells Atreyu he still has 10,000 miles to travel to the Southern Oracle, he’s devastated. I feel you, Atreyu. It seems like we are 10,000 miles away from normalcy, too. Every time I wipe off a cereal box with a Lysol wipe or count my toilet paper rolls, I feel like I’m living in an alternate universe.
The day-to-day monotony is getting to us all. Whether we are working or not, we are missing our family and our friends. We are craving hugs and in-person interaction. We want to go to a restaurant, support our local businesses, get our economy back on track. We want our routine back. I for one really miss driving!
We are feeling sad, uncertain, annoyed, happy, our emotions are changing on a dime. We don’t have an end date for all of this. And even if we did, we aren’t sure what that means.
If you know the film, you know Falkor, the luck dragon, rescues Atryeu and takes him all but the final stage of his voyage.
We need our own Falkor.
I think he represents hope, and we are seeing versions of that every day. We are watching humanity come together and find creative ways to stay connected. We are finding ways to support and appreciate our essential workers. We are flattening the curve with social distancing. We are checking in on our neighbors and our friends. One of my friends sends me an inspirational text every day. I’ve come to anticipate it and I love sending her a funny GIF in return.
Atreyu has to believe in himself to get through the Sphinx Gate. We need to give ourselves a break and realize we are doing the best we can. If we are doing online school with the kids, if we are working from home, if we are doing family visits on Zoom, if we are working out in the world – we are killing it. Believe in yourself and your abilites, every single day.
Atreyu is not the one to ultimately save Fantastia. He needed Bastain, the little boy reading the book to save it.
Unexpected sources will be our saving grace.
The writers, the artists, the scientists, the medical professionals. We will all come together and offer our forms of healing. We need art just as much as we need science right now.
As I look out my window and the rain pours down and the thunder rumbles, I feel like Bastian, as he tossed that blanket over his head and finally understood the power he had in the story. We all have power. We can all help in some way.
Maybe my blog today will make you smile and for that, you’ve given me motivation. You’ve made my day better. Use your power. Bake the cookies and drop them off on your elder neighbors’ porches. Sing the song from your balcony. Send the text or the email that someone needs to read. Share your knowledge online. You have power.
Bastian had to call out a new name for the Childlike Empress and we will need a new name for our world when this comes to a close. Nothing will ever look or feel the same. This picture I took the other day represents the weirdness I feel and also reminds me of the Empress.
We have and will suffer more loss, we will feel fear, we will worry, but we will also learn, grow and never ever take for granted the gift of the amazing people in our lives.
Sending my love to all of you.