Perspective: My sliver of blue sky
"A sliver of blue has more /intensity than the entire sky..."
I have been thinking about these opening lines of the poem "Window" by the Nicaraguan poet, Alfonso Cortés, as I contemplate the possibility of living long-term in partial lockdown.
Unfortunately, Cortés suffered mental illness, possibly schizophrenia, throughout his adult life, forcing his family to lock him up in a room with bars on the window. He seemed to have periods of lucidity when he could live normally, but during violent rages he was a danger to himself and others. The family opted to lock him in a room and chain him to the wall until the crisis passed.
"Window" was inspired by these moments of confinement when he could only glimpse a tiny corner of sky between the bars on his window. In a similar fashion, we lived only a part of our lives during the pandemic, leaving us with our own sliver of blue sky.
Due to this limited horizon, Cortés's words have taken on a new meaning for me. I begin to focus on the insignificant details of life: how the sunlight filters through autumn leaves, that I no longer look at clouds with the same frequency as when I was little, in the spirals of steam from a hot bowl of soup. We are surrounded by slivers of blue sky, but we needed a lockdown to notice.
I'm Frances Jaeger, and that is my Perspective.