Existential quarantining questions
As Covid-19 life continues, I’m pleased to wake every morning around 4 a.m., after going to bed before 8 p.m., to review my dream journal entries and find they pose many meaningful ponderings about humanity amid this unusual situation.
Perhaps, as you also descend into madness, you have your own “Big Unanswerable Big Questions. ” To share a few of mine:
- True or false? “As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.” — Carl Jung
- Yes or no? “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” — Albert Camus
- Hilarious, meaningful, or both? “The ‘Wizard of Oz’ is my favourite. It explains what life on this planet is about. Although Dorothy reaches Oz, she finds she had what she needed to go back to Kansas all along, but the Good Witch tells her that she had to learn it for herself. All of the answers to the meaning of life are there.” — RuPaul
- Poetically trenchant or ridiculously obscure for home-schooled children? “Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?” — T.S. Eliot
- Do I even care about my hair anymore? (This is me.) Do I dare to visit Whole Foods during special early times for the over-60 to swarm, sniff and squeeze the insulting peaches, trying to find a decent one, while glaring at folks who don’t get “social distancing”?
- To beard or not to beard, that is the question; whether ’tis nobler to shave every day and always look clean, or suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous appearance on Zoom. Men have a bewildering range of bearding options, from the idiotic barista “Lumberjack,” to the closely tonsured “Circle Beard.” Some perchance to dream of sculpting a “Fu Manchu” just to trigger people who are frightened by anyone who looks Asian.
- To shower or not to shower — ay, there’s the rub. Best if scrubbing with a natural loofah body brush with butter coconut sea salt positively radiant exfoliating body polish. With a flabby bod who would fardels bear, to grunt and swear during a weary workout with the previously unused Peloton; whether to welcome your family (who you’ve learned are as complicated as Hamlet’s) to your bosom, or wish to keep them distant with your sweaty stink because Mae West was wrong: Too much of a good thing is not always wonderful.
- Should I “leverage” my remaining resources to exploit the pandemic free-fall economy and sweet triple-markdown retail sales to refresh my wardrobe in a huskier size because I’ve been at home 24–7, atypically sedentary yet eating more? My morals say no. My lack of self awareness says I’ll lose the “pandemic pounds” when it’s over. Leading economists say “hells to the yeah!” always buy when the market is low. So, ok, I’ll purchase sharp haberdashery from small local clothiers at “going out of business” prices, but only as a public service to revive the economy. I don’t expect praise for my selflessness, but you’re welcome.
- Has Medium.com become a crutch, my only outlet for self-expression, since I can’t share my humorous insights with family and friends in person and I hate how I look on Zoom? Or is my “Covid Collection” of essays a cry for help?
- Is Passover really Passover, and is Easter really Easter, if we can’t gather together in person with our loved ones to celebrate our blessings? I checked my dream journal and it appears I scribbled “hells to the yeah!” So, may God bless and keep everyone well.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.