If you ever had a small or big car accident, did you notice when you shared your story about it, most people would very quickly add their own car accident stories?
I think with the present lifestyle imposed on us in the response to virus, we go to our own stories that remind us what happened during our life, many of them very, very long time ago.
So here is one of mine.
As I was watching initial public response to curfews, toilet paper hoarding phenomenon, isolation tactics, something inside me felt – I have noticeable body sense. Not new. It was something like I know how to do all this. It felt as if I own some experiential advantage. I suddenly started not to feel all these new rules as restrictions, but something so familiar.
I paused and took the time to felt sense. It felt like something very, very old. Something that was formative for my future way of living. Like in the middle of very big danger, there is a sense of it being serious but also provisional. My felt sense invitation was intriguing. So I let it come.
As I paid attention, a memory started to appear from my very early childhood. It was about the final days of World War II. A family scenario came bit by bit all together. My grandparents lived with us at that time. I recalled sound of siren uauauau which meant planes were coming to bomb our town. I really don’t remember whose planes where coming, but they were bringing bombs with them to be dropped on our neighbourhood.
Thinking back, these must have been Russian planes, coming in support of local fighters. Partizans were Yugoslav Liberation Army lead by Tito, who were hiding in the woods for several years gradually building up their strength, to the point of overthrowing country into communist regime. Result of this change was horrific metamorphosis for general population. Most knew almost nothing what communism even meant. But soon the chaos took over … nothing was the same anymore … until the next war … what became “normal” new chaos took over and nothing was the same again.
It was historically very confusing political situation in the small town what is now Croatia. Whole history of it would need a book to describe and understand.
So for now, my story will stay on my felt sense, not history account.
When the sirens first sounded, I just remember, whole family had to go very quickly into unfinished basement. We had to close the door until planes did their bombing of the very neighbourhood we lived in. Ambience … we might get hit in our basement, but maybe we’ll be lucky. Planes were targeting more important buildings than our home … but then … we lived close to railway station that was probably the aim? Sirens were warning civilians to get into shelter.
So the whole family had to move very quickly into basement. My grandmother, baka Ina, who was small little ball of fire, was courageous and also curious. She decided she needed to keep the basement door just a smidge opened so she can check where the planes were coming from and to guess by explosion were the bombs were landing. It was possibly a bit of need in a very dangerous situation that gave her some sense of control? Some of baka Ina’s DNA is traceable in my approach to situations.
I think this is why words “serious but provisional” came to my felt sense.
When uuuuuu finally sounded, it was safe to get out.
After each one of these plane attacks was over, we would go out on the street to find out who got hit in the neighbourhood, who might have been killed, and what the damage was.
So this was the familiar body sense that I was re experiencing. I was not scared. What came was – “I know how to be in this”. That happened then, but my body knows it’s home base. This is part of who I am and have access to. What I carry forward now is implied how to move forward …