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May 20, 2020

Reflections from an International Couple Living & Loving during COVID-19.

Elephant’s Continually-updating Coronavirus Diary. ~ Waylon

As this country softens, I have softened into my own reflections of the past few months.

I hope I never forget the sunrises when I peaked at you through the balcony doors as the only panes of golden light shone diagonally into our little unit. You lying on my old yoga mat practicing your Wim Hof apneas. I’m sitting cross-legged on my yoga mat, facing you wrapped in a shawl of wool. Only a pane of glass separates us as I shine you a toothless grin with squinty eyes and pronounced chin.

I don’t want to forget the tangle of our limbs together in a mess of threading the needle and foam rolling. The mornings we took turns to make each other our specialty breakfasts, sometimes drinking fresh lemon and ginger tea. And sometimes ordering lattes to the door.

Or the mornings we let the ghost of a quiet Melbourne skyline peak in at us sharing our stories and bodies and drinking hot tea then falling back to sleep until noon. Or those mornings I crawled and collapsed onto your chest exhausted from another night shift on the ward. Or when you were already up and the richness of chocolate brownies in the oven at 8 a.m. sifted through the walls, “so I don’t wake you up with the blender.”

The days spent with you studying at the round vintage table with the creeky retro chairs. Me creating my own home yoga studio, burning palo santo, saying prayers, and jumping in on yoga teacher training zoom lectures while sitting up on my pink lily bolster with a pot of tea in hand.

Sometimes we take walks and bike rides around the orange city as it sinks into the yin of autumn, or sit under shedding trees hoping the police don’t come by and move us along. We have fantasised, laughed, and argued under those trees when canvases of our futures have failed to be painted, out of fear or lack or impatience.

We create our own bliss, but sometimes the odds of our success are stacked against us in a world so uncertain of itself. A British woman and Chilean man living through unemployment without nearby family or stability; standing on our four feet in a country that is not ours. But in a country hosting our twin shoestrings that thread and lead us here to meet and know and grow love. The inner callings that kept us still enough to cross.

We have both made choices to figure it out without aid. He has worked jobs that provide no financial certainty, but demand tactics and long hours of manual labour. Navigating the city streets after light or sweeping the cobwebs of COVID-19 off park benches. I have continued to work full-time, initially in fear of catching the virus, to fill in the monetary gaps. We are deemed “essential workers,” but I feel every human needs to believe they are essential in the healing of this planet.

We are both here navigating our part in order to meet the light we both envision. Yet, we have both cried and met each other with an offering of our hands and chests, allowing the fear, helplessness, and anxiety to flood. We have sat facing inwards, clasping hands and bowing heads in prayer for fear to be lifted and peace to be bestowed.

We have turned to meet each other’s crown and prayed for a golden sheath to protect our families in a time when we cannot protect them ourselves. In a time where technology now imitates proximity, we have laughed with each other’s families in languages our tongues cannot yet speak but our hearts invite in and understand.

There were the zero-cost date nights, dinners under the full moon light, and candle lit lanterns. The hot showers where you helped me realise my body is a gift not a curse. Nurturing our house plants back to life, nurturing our will to be with each other. We never went to bed mad at each other. I never awoke without wanting my first touch to be yours.

In a time that could have snapped us in two as we erratically engage in a spectrum of worthiness. Days of “I do not question my life path, light, and purpose,” to “There is nothing for us here; I want to go back.” On a spectrum of love to fear, we have always been the mirror, coaxing each other to choose love always.

In a time when no one in the world has put international citizens as a priority, I have realised where my focus to nurture lies. And steadily, I let go of nurturing the bank account, the status, the aesthetic. Love is and has always been all there is. And I have never felt richer than I do with you.


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Lori Kemp  |  Contribution: 2,800

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