So life has changed again and not just because the days are shorter, the air is colder, the puddles left from rain and the wet pavements don’t dry as quickly, the winds are bitter, and the glory of the changed leaves is besmirched in the gutters.
We still go out, for walks and on errands, we still drive to the shops we can’t easily reach for ‘essentials’, we still do chores in the garden somewhat reluctantly. We still sit and write, or paint, or read, or make or listen to music. We still talk to each other. But who am I talking to? My husband, my daughter, Reg the dog, the masked person who serves me in the shops. Yes there is sound all around us, outside and in, but talking, chatting, gossiping?
I used to be talking and in conversation so much! Conversing with friends while being in their company, talking and listening to other people in my various reading and writing groups, chatting to people in other social situations, exchanging more than a brief greeting with strangers met in queues or while waiting for something, a gossip about the weather, local events, the colours of spring/summer/autumn and even winter with just passers by, and of course – pub-talk which encompasses everything.
Now I feel as if my spoken language has dried up. I know I say the same dull things over and over, repeat tiny items of interest to husband/daughter who have already heard me say them at least once before.
It has made me think about those people who even in normal times rarely hear the sound of another voice, or exchange even a few words with another person. I’m not feeling sorry for myself, my comments above are merely observations, but my heart does go out to those who are alone, especially older people. There is a charity called Silverline which organises telephone calls for isolated older people; at present they are processing the details of so many volunteers that they don’t need extra help at the moment, but I will get in touch when they do.