It’s the first of April. I woke up with a sense of deep calm, a craving for stillness.
I had gone to bed the previous night reviewing the month that’s past, and looking ahead into the month that lay in front. It was going to be an excruciatingly busy month. Night was not the best time to solve for it – I let the problem rest too, as I put my head to the pillow.
I woke up and instead of writing my morning pages, I reached out for the book Stillness by Ryan Holiday. What will I gain out of it? I do not know. Books help me. And I have been always serendipitous in the way books find me. I like to think that I let my subconscious choose the book I need. Or perhaps it really is the soul of the book that finds its readers, who knows.
I think about the beginning of spring in Amsterdam. When the tulips bloom, and the gloom of winter gives way to glorious sunshine. When cafes and restaurants extend their seating to sidewalks and the whole city seems to come alive, as if after months of hibernation.
This is not exactly how the last spring unfolded in Amsterdam in 2020, and it’s probably not how it will be this year either. But my memories are a wonderful place I can live in, where I can travel to from Dubai, with no airline tickets or PCR tests. I close my eyes and the warm spring sunshine bathes me instead of the desert heat. The mind is, after all, all-powerful and unconstrained by the realities of time and space.
The news is full of predictions of second waves and third waves and fourth waves. Of new variants of a virus. Of vaccination drives – about successes and failures. Of blame and praise. Of judgement, where judgement serves no purpose. I wonder what I will do with all this information. I delete the BBC news app on my phone. I have no more news apps left on my devices. That’s my action for today, I intend to not just survive but to thrive and this is the first step to claim back my deep stillness.