#139 The more things change…

Another week of lockdown over and case numbers are on the rise, again.

The Olympics are done, and we’re wondering what on earth we’re going to do now that it’s over. What a relief it’s provided these past two weeks. I love the Olympics but I don’t think I’ve watched this much of the Games since Sydney.

But now we’re returning to the ‘new normal’ 2.0 without the Olympics and the change is unwelcome in my books.

Speaking of books, on Friday I achieved the feat of actually finishing Fahrenheit 451 with my Year 12 class. Never managed it before (not that they know it) because when there’s the usual exam schedules, there simply is no time.

We were even able to read about (spoiler alert) the dropping of the bomb in the novel, on August 6th, which I hope helped them to feel a real sense of poignancy in Bradbury’s writing. Yet another thing the lockdown has afforded: a chance to read a passage of literature on the anniversary of a relevant tragic event in Japan – at the same time as enjoying sports in another of Japan’s cities.

Thanks to a doozy of an essay question, we discussed Bradbury’s ideas about humanity and change, as evidenced at the end of the novel. Bradbury makes the insightful remark that no matter how many times humanity rises from the ashes like a phoenix, we still keep making the same stupid mistakes.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The old adage doesn’t lie.

And it leads me to question: did we learn anything in 2020 when we “rose from the ashes”? Or are we back in lockdown again and have made no progress?

I mean society in general, but it could be an individual reflection as well.

When in lockdown, there’s a definite sense of stagnation! But is that just physical? Or is it spiritual as well?

Am I using the lockdown to progress spiritually? And what would that look like?

These are the questions I’ve been asking myself this week. I’m not sure I’ve got the answers yet.

But I am sure of what The Bible says:

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.

Whether I feel near to God or not, doesn’t matter. There is a promise. If I draw near, he will do the same. God’s not into social distancing and his door is always open.

So whether it’s “progress” or not, I’m using the lockdown to increase my spiritual practice of drawing near to God.

I hope you might do the same, lockdown or not.

Yours in varying proxemics,


Personal Photo: taken at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in September 2019

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