TIRED SOLDIER

Are we all tired? Yes of course. Weariness and apathy are everywhere.

Even here. Even though I am ultra-privileged. I have a home, food, love and activities that keep me going. For four months, I buried myself at home with two small children. From the start, I explained to them the concept of lockdown, told them that it wasn’t going to be overly fun and that the only way to save the situation was to cultivate the deep joy that existed in each of us, to prioritize love, empathy and humor (and even dark humor, of course). At the end of the day, even if the 8 daily Zoom connections and the two hours of daily homework were, well, a bit heavy, we did pretty well.

A curfew and a second lockdown and a second curfew later, the mood is a little different. The applause which accompanied the cashiers and the nursing staff during the first lockdown went silent. Closed shops and homeless people are legion in the streets of Paris.

In September, my children did return to school, but masked and surrounded by soldiers in November – a teacher having been brutally murdered in a high school of the Parisian region. They are tired and have nightmares, which hardly ever happened before.

I am tired too and – instead of nightmares – I have insomnia. I see my kids worried, I see my legal deals stop, I see some relatives dangerously flirting with severe depression, and I don’t know what to do other than listen, reassure, encourage. I am no longer sure I understand the world in which I live, I see divisions everywhere, often legitimate protests almost everywhere and I am in reality absolutely certain that I no longer understand anything about French government decisions, which seem to me to be totally devoid of common sense, both in form and substance.

My only way to get through this disaster is a frantic desire to counterbalance the surrounding difficulties with an excess of serenity and intelligent benevolence. Even if it means digging very deep, maybe too deep into my core self.

I realized that human beings live on goals, plans and projections – whatever they are – when this period requires us to abort any future. It’s very complicated to stay serene and happy with no goal, which is another word for desire. With no desire, we fade away. It takes an almost superhuman daily strength to move forward, again and again, towards a future which is on hold.

I already knew it, but I fully realized that a viable economy includes each player but also a strong common sense based on a tangible and win-win reality.

I realized that the freedoms we carelessly enjoyed were ultimately very fragile. I am now seeing these freedoms being eroded under the pretext of a state of emergency that is becoming almost permanent, and my inner lawyer can only feel deeply concerned. To name a few, the freedom of expression (and the freedom of press), the freedom of movement and circulation, the freedom to protest, the freedom of assembly, private property (I am thinking of Canada where the police can force the door of a house if doubtful about a meeting of people exceeding the authorized number) are the fundamental freedoms which reflect a democracy. I am worried because I know that once taken away, these freedoms will be difficult to regain. What is done is done, good luck getting them back.

“Common sense”. “Reality”. The expressions keep coming back. This outrageous capitalism makes no sense because it has no valid reality. How come that the pandemic has benefited a few (already) billionaires and has severely impoverished a large part of the Western population? That does not make any sense.

The States themselves have embarked on a frenzied race for profitability – either because they must respect E.U. budgetary ratios or because of public deficits, the game of global geostrategy and State trade commercial balances – and public education and health services find themselves impoverished, despised and sometimes sold off.

Whether in the public or private spheres, this rampant profitability has shown its limits. It’s time to change the model, I think.

We have been behaving like little soldiers throughout this year, but it is now time to reclaim our decision-making power, through our votes, our wallets and our daily attitude.

Pucci jumpsuit – Ralph Lauren jacket – Ted Baker purse – Vintage gloves – Louis Vuitton heels – O’Fée earrings