‘I got you babe’ the song by Sonny and Cher to which weatherman Phil Connors [played by Bill Murray] wakes up to, playing on the clock radio of his motel, on February 2nd, 1993. Watching Groundhog Day, you end-up feeling a bit of pity for obnoxious Mr. Connors: praying he’ll somehow find a way to unlock the way to move forward with his life: yet no matter how he acts over and over, the next day to which he wakes up is always February 2nd: and you get to understand – with him – that he needs to do some grand act to be able to move on with the rest of his life.
By Hiba Kilany
Like Phil Connors, we are all stuck in the same day, and ‘I got you babe’ is the leitmotif song that keeps looping in my head, a bit out of ‘mental-distancing practice’ I had imposed onto myself. Yes, also a bit out of irony: wouldn’t it be the best song for Covid-19 to have as a ringtone had it been a person with a personalized mobile ring?
Aren’t we all, every single human on this planet, trapped into a global Groundhog Day? How loathsome have we all been to deserve this? Will we ever wake-up to February 3rd? What could be the grand act humanity would need to do to overcome this endless repeated day?
Want a list of ill-doing we humans got along with until we got quarantined: we trophy hunted, we fur farmed, we genetically modified, skinned, hoarded, tested, ate alive, skinned alive. Enough? I am afraid not: we polluted our air into something unbreathable, our water has become undrinkable, we overpopulated our planet, we changed the climate, we melted glaciers…
We’re not only obnoxious but we’re also stupid: all those crimes we consciously or unconsciously committed have a primary victim: nature disappearing species, a dis-balanced biodiversity and now ourselves. That became obvious now.
End of last year 2019, the lungs of planet earth [the Amazon forests] burnt: a few months later: our lungs are attacked by an insidious disease that is harvesting more death than World Wars. When will we ever understand? This planet thrives we thrive, this planet dies we die with it… And here we are today: forced to stop our animal cruelty, our ecological crimes, forced to stop moving, running, competing, forced to stop breathing.
Well, did we not get what we deserve? Finally, the earth is having her own vacation, taking some time-off from our shit, and bullshit. Taking some time off from our disgusting need to consume, to show-off, to kill, to brag about our travels, our bodies, our belongings, our cars, and our careers: we’re prisoners and the jailer is us, we’re criminals and the corpse lying on the floor is ours, we’re dying in thousands -daily- and the disease killing us is man-made they say.
Well I think that maybe, just like Bill Murray, the only thing that will save us is L.O.V.E, not the cheesy-Turkish-soap-operas-kinda-love, but LOVE the universal kind of emotion that radiates goodness and empathy, that cares not for one singular person, but the kind of love Jesus taught us: caring and curing without wanting to be seen, suffering without making a scene, sharing one loaf of bread and one glass of wine for a farewell party, forgiving even the least worthy, touching the repulsive, dying while forgiving, and forgiving while dying.
Knowing that it is not the end, but only a transformation of matter, and a matter of transformation. Nothing can bring us more to His teachings than the end of this Lent [the Quaresima] and the end of the Quarantine.
The naming of the celebration as “Easter” seems to go back to the name of a pre-Christian goddess in England, Eostre, who was celebrated at the beginning of spring, a season of rebirth, but this time round not the rebirth of the same old earth, but the rebirth of a new-more-aware-kinder us.
Hiba Kilany is a concerned freelance communication specialist