In response to the #CultureDeclares call out for Letters in Lockdown responding to the Covid-19 crisis, Line Langebek writes...
A LETTER TO A FRIEND ABROAD:
Are the plants still growing?
We're writing this from different lockdowns,
Calling out to each other and to you,
to humanity within and around us
standing on balconies or by open windows
if we're lucky enough to have either
are you singing a song for us now?
These past weeks I've been crawling along the edge of my mind,
swimming through the water of my dreams
looking up into the canopies of an imaginary forest
whilst watering every tiny green plant I own
and whispering to them: please grow, grow
are you showing us how to let live, now?
Was there I ever a time when I went so long without
the green, the water, the fresh air on my cheeks
and if we didn't know it before, we know it now,
if we didn't want to hear the message before, maybe we'll hear it now
how did we forget? is the question we must ask
are you slowing down time for us now?
My little one never forgot
too young to unlearn it,
and feeling it now, hard on her body, craving the wind
Can't we sit outside, yes I know it's cold mama,
but I'll wear a jumper, I just want to be outside, please
are you home schooling us all now?
Home learning for the world
The schools send us all lesson suggestions
but it's the adults who need new plans
even whilst the fires were burning and the oceans rising
we wouldn't listen
are you teaching us a lesson now?
We watch outside life on the screen
the little one bangs the pot with her wooden spoon
the only music she can play with the entire street
whilst those we're playing for
work hours so long they cannot hear us
paying a price nobody should pay
are we learning fast enough now?
Sitting with the unknown
today is a day of rest, tomorrow it begins again
there is no other now but this moment
and the little one digs her hands into the pots of soil
whispering to the plants too
we don't know when but one day they'll bear flowers
Remember we are all family, she says.
My friend on the other side, are the plants growing?
Line Langebek is co-founder of Library of Change. She is a screenwriter, translator and lecturer. She's passionate about using stories as a way to initiate change and is one of the founders of Raising Films, which campaigns for equal opportunities for parents and carers and a more diverse film and TV industry. She is also a member of the @TheWritersGuild Film Committee, campaining for screenwriters' rights.