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  • Jake Russell

Everything Is As It Must Be

I’m sitting in the airport in Mallorca heading back to London feeling metaphorically taller from a short and sweet Balearic treat, revitalised, refreshed and excited as I look about at the life around me.

Because what I see is a reminder that life goes on no matter the difficulty.

In the (covered) face of the pandemic and all its ramifications, life goes on, mostly unshaken.

Things are weirder, restrictions clearer, new facial fashions which are peculiar, disjointed policies, battered economies, imperfect solutions and illogical anomalies, but we carry on riding, if not striding, then inching onward, stepping forward.

Many have suffered, and many more will follow, that seems a certainty, but as I sit here watching the teenage daughter in front of me, eating with her family, protesting against their miserly, non-discriminatory no-phones-at-the-table policy, I feel oddly comforted. I’m reminded of just how brilliantly resilient we are, how admirably malleable we can be.

Humanity, I mean.

We don’t stop, give up and curl up into a ball. Perhaps individually we do, and that’s ok if we need to, but collectively there’s never the merest hint or glimpse of downing tools, of drowning under the weight of it all.

Collectively, as communities, as countries, as humanity, we travel forward continuously. And it might not be neat or orderly. And there’ll always be winners at the expense of the others, and there’ll always be some who forever feel troubled. But as a collective we continuously travel forward.

People work, taxis run, governments govern, A-levels and universities figure out their algorithmic difficulties, new signs are made illustrating the right way to cover your face, tape on the pavement demarcating space. It’s all gesture, it’s all symbolic, but of course it is.

On one level everything we do is gesture, it’s all just symbol, none of it matters, we’re all just matter.

So we keep playing the game.

It’s all we can do.

All of it, this play of life, everything we’re part of and created, the whole swirling, whirling mass of madness and colour and change. Political unrest, racial protest, disease and death, vegan cheese, beach towels, QR codes and ring roads, super yachts, allotments, soap operas, doctors, dinner parties and Deepak Chopra, status, space stations, films with Jason Statham, vulgar wealth and poverty, politics and philosophy, all of it, it’s all exactly as it’s meant to be because right now there’s no other possibility. This is it. This is where and how we’re meant to be.

And so of course we continue forward. A little slowed and burdened, a little bruised, weary and uncertain, breathless sometimes and broken, but we continue forward. What else is there for it?

That might sound pessimistic or fatalistic but those are just concepts and terminology and soon we’ll all be dead so what difference anyway?

So while we’re here and part of this mysterious light show, this glorious shit show, better to try to enjoy it, no?

Because life goes on and on it must, and trust me, if we can see that it is exactly as it must be, it’s really quite lovely.

And with that I wish you happy travels forward and with love,

Jake x

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