We’ve been watching The Staircase on Netflix.

Spoiler Warning

What happens to one’s bodily minding to spend 8 years in such a small, hard space? I’ve always imagined myself meditating the whole time in such a situation, but even the Vipassana 10-day retreats I attended were in peaceful surroundings, even as we kept voluntarily silent and remained within the limited confines of the center’s grounds. And though we didn’t communicate with each other, we were amongst like-minded practitioners meditating and taking meals and walking. What’s it like to be so involuntarily isolated?

A colleague broke down in tears while talking during a video call and continued to talk, wiping away tears. The strain of the enormity of what’s happening against the maintaining of some vague semblance of routine and the pretense that there will be a return to normalcy is an impossible one to hold to, but I guess the fear of not knowing what this post-pandemic future will look like is even more unbearable.