Empty diary

I've always lived by my diary.

It's like holding my memory in my hand. Whether it be on paper or on the phone, my diary represents all that isn't in my mind. I like to think I am keeping my mind free for greater things, but in truth, it just doesn't retain all the details and at any given time, there really isn't much else going on.

And so, the diary is that repository of information about my every day. All my appointments and times and dates are there. It's not a place for putting down my thoughts and feelings. It's just a place to remember stuff.

And now, I wake up in the morning with this curious feeling of displacement. I look at the diary anyway, but all I see are lines crossed through everything, lines heavy with cancellation strokes.

Where once this was a place that jotted down details about dinners with friends, movies, events and shows, it is now a barren wasteland of cancellation and despair. I no longer need to look at it.

I know what will be on the agenda for today and that will be nothing but a trail of what my life would be like without the coronavirus.

My oldest son phoned me first to tell me that he is on a peppercorn wage for now, being assessed on a weekly basis. His job is to organise festivals and major events. When the virus struck he was supposed to be checking out international artists in Texas and now, he is looking at his own blank diary.

Another son phoned me to tell me that his wife has lost her job. Hers was in the tourism industry hiring out baby equipment to tourists travelling to the Gold Coast.

My other son has lost clients, but is bunkering down and putting his health and that of his family first. His wife works in domestic violence, something which is sadly a bit of a growth industry when disaster strikes.

My daughter's twins will be born into an uncertain world. The doctor has already told her her husband can be her only visitor and then for just one hour a day once they are born.

I look forward to us all filling our diaries once again. Let it happen soon and safely and let's put everyone and everything on its pages.

- Linda Muller