leftover intensity

I’m doing an isolation journal prompt series and welcome you to join! I’m only sharing responses to prompts that feel acceptable enough to share (don’t involve others for example).


Choose a line from a book—you can grab the nearest one and flip it open to a random page, or pick an old favorite you’ve memorized by heart. Whatever grabs your attention; whatever intrigues. Use it as the opening sentence for today’s journal entry, and let the words flow from there.

“Days at home often blur into one another; days in strange surroundings intensify life.” – Far and Away by Andrew Solomon

What about the days at home in today’s strange circumstances? I hadn’t yet considered how indefinite time at “home” could create the same sort of intensity found when one goes far away. The days have stopped blurring but we are all stagnant with a growing awareness of the four walls around us. I think at first this intensity of feeling without a change in location that usually accompanies this state left me seeking out numbing agents, distractions, etc. It’s too much energy with nowhere to go.

I need to do something with this leftover intensity I have building up. I find myself oscillating between trying to create new things and trying to transform the intensity into calmness. I have a fear that this pandemic is making me more tied to San Diego than I want to be as I discover new parts of my neighborhood, pay more attention to the weather each day, and happily wave to people I pass (at a distance of course). It’s been fun yet shocking to realize that a place I thought I knew contained so much beneath the surface. How can you ever really know a place?

In a way, I’m thankful to have life intensify at home. So much of what you learn when traveling, you hope to integrate into everyday life when you return home. Now, there’s an odd chance to do that without ever having to leave.


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