This week marks eleven weeks of Holly Peters' Plymouth Culture and Literature Works commissioned Covid-19 digital diary.

Over the course of this digital diary, Holly has been open and honest about her lockdown experience. It’s been a journey we’ve all been on with her, from adjustment to the realisation that the smallest things can bring joy at difficult times. Now we join her for her last lockdown diary as she reflects on the experience and begins to look to the future.

Next week, Holly will be the first of Plymouth Culture’s Covid_19 diary contributors to turn her thoughts towards what the future looks like now as society begins to reopen. We look forward to it.

Here is the latest entry…

'Reflecting'

Six months with years of events crammed in:
Brexit, forest fires, is this world war three?
Impeachment to acquittal, deadly hornets –
Anchoring itself into history,
TV dramas, Fiction, plot. No, our reality.

Fallen from the face of the earth and landed in a bubble,
Simple existence of lists and routines,
Easily adapted, easily detached.
I think of the past: banana bread and Netflix binges,
Happy news of one hundred laps and the return of the dolphins,
Decades of fog lifting,
When everything paused,
When everything felt like it could come back brighter,
Optimism wrapped around disappointment only makes it shatter quietly.

Driving across the plain, boarded up windows, smudged out glass,
A graveyard of the past, the lost, the fallen.
Arts clinging with its ripped nails, blood trickling down brittle bones.
Begging for those who can, to help it climb back up.

Sitting on the edge, water lapping down below our feet,
The sun’s kisses bouncing off the surface, gleaming like diamonds,
Can you hear it crunch its teeth?
Boats rock in her sway,
Cobbled streets,
Surrounded by the ghosts of destruction and disrespect,
Declaring war, weapons of smashed bottles
And crunched up cans.
Stains of decay that can’t be power washed away,
Shunned.

She weeps as she watches, helpless.
What more can we lose?
Scrolling through social media,
Rocking from side to side, hopping over the line
Of pride and disbelief.
Hopeful and not.
We learnt change was supposed to be uncomfortable,
But it wasn’t meant to stop.

Distracted within four walls –
Do all bubbles burst?
Another nationwide evil,
Morals melting under heat,
A day out,
Using nature, casting her aside,
Crunching her under their heel.
Bird’s eye view of yellow and blue
Strewn with artificial reds and plastic pinks,
Charcoals still smoking.
Stumbling away, left for others to
Tidy up.

I believed we’d pave a new way forward
That blooms with petals and something cruel
Teaches us kindness.
But the trend passes, onto the next,
Please don’t let the future be smeared with fog –
But how can we fix the mess if we never
Stop making it?

Words: Holly Peters

This entry is a collaborative commission by Plymouth Culture and Literature Works. It has been reproduced from the original, posted here.