She was locked down in here. 

In this huge beehive. 

And she buzzed and buzzed in her cell during the day, 

And she continued to buzz in her dreams during the night.

But dreams were captured by the grids she imposed on herself

by allowing other dreams to lock her in this cell.

No, she is not a bee. They are free,

She is not.

That is the privilege of having wings,

Insignificantly small as humans may think.

Even if the world with its greedy presence

And intentions for the sweet essence.

Even if it tries to capture one,

The skies are open for everyone.

For everyone who is free.

Again, she is not.

 

I wrote this poetry two days after my arrival and the start of two weeks quarantine. One may think that this definitely is an exaggeration because it is only for two weeks. Some of the countries most affected right now have experienced a lock-down for months. However, quarantine means a complete change in everyday lifestyle. Only, there are different levels in these changes. The active routine that was part of every day I have lived was now reduced to a three cubic meter room. Imagine someone who wakes up in the morning to go for a run; cars are passing by in the morning rush on the one side of the runner, but from another side of the street there is a green world bringing the honey-sweet scent of lindens if the morning is warm, or freshness from dew if the night has been chilly. This person would come home just to make herself ready to go outside again whether it would be to visit her grandparents, to work in a children’s camp, or meet with her friends. Sometimes this person would take her bicycle just to go exploring the streets she has known for nineteen years. But there always is something new to find, because the world we knew yesterday is not the one we see today. And then she has her athletics team and she runs again. This person, like every human, has not learned to fly, but the secret is that running gives her wings. And now imagine her in this cube; her only activity is the change from the chair to bed and vice versa. That was how I imagined it before coming and in the first days of the quarantine. I constructed this fear by myself. 

However, only now can I see the actual enemy. It took me all these days until the last one to catch it. Here comes his name: Comfort. I felt just right; hidden from the outside world in my own personal space. Just my body and my thoughts, observing people on the streets from a safe distance.  That is when I realized that being here alone in this room was my comfort zone. I felt productive in the circumstances that were prosperous for me. It was as if even my mental health got a chance to recover. The scent of the evening coffee while some good jazz fills the room was everything I asked for.  And my thoughts merged in with the sounds of trumpet and bass, and disappeared far away, alongside with my worries and troubles. And then some thoughts appeared in my mind. Why did I feel good being alone after such an active life before? 

The answer is fear, as always it is. Although this time it was not constructed by myself; I concluded that it was something more socially created. Before this two-week-long experience, I could not see the extent of how much my happiness depended on the opinion of others. Indeed, this hotel room became the comfort zone for me, because it was never only me who didn’t like my own body, it was never only me who thought that things I do are wrong or strange or different. There always is the social expectation, even if we do not feel it or we think we are protected by the shield of confidence. One positive side of social standards is that it takes me out of my comfort zone. And being out of your comfort zone gives you the best chance for progress. However, in this case, how can one make changes so that the comfort zone expands the hotel room? Maybe progress is possible within a comfort zone; has anyone tried? I ask you and myself because comfort was never being alone in the hotel room, it was not being judged by social and gender standards.