Moments of Reprieve

In times far, far darker than ours, Primo Levi called these, ‘moments of reprieve’. The Nazis set up the death camps as places where morality would be inverted. It was dangerous to be good. Every man for herself. We saw that here in the all-in toilet-paper wrestling.

But there’s a softening abroad, a gentling of human intercourse. We wash our hands today, not of each other, but for each other. Commerce has slowed, people have time, give each other time. Working here in the central business district of a great city, I find us breathing our minutes and our days as folk do in a country town.

In the foyer of a giant apartment building, in a far distant town, this notice appeared:

Its author is seven-year old Dash Unglik, of New York City.

5 thoughts on “Moments of Reprieve

  1. Lovely post, Howard. It is disgusting with how much entitlement the Western world has been reacting to what is really a minor inconvenience in the big scheme of problems in the world. Lots of thanks,


    ______________________________________ Dr Susanne Dopke Consultant in Bilingualism Speech Pathologist

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    • Susanne

      It has taken me a long time to respond

      You wrote so warmly to me I didn’t want to dispute your views

      Truth is, I’ve seen no nastiness and much kindness

      I have been lucky

      Two weeks ago I queued outside coles before the 0700 special hour for oldies

      A queue formed in the near-dark

      I stepped out of the line to keep physical distance

      The door opened
      The line started to move

      It stopped next to me: ‘this is your place, sir’, and the aged. Purple waved me back in line

      Inside, toilet paper filled trolleys – but sensible amounts

      No brawling, people making space for others

      I hope this lasts

      And I hope you are well

      If you run out and need toilet paper, drop in and have a poo at our place


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