Living and Working in a Fog: Photo by Aleksandar Pasaric on Pexels.com

feeling you are in the wrong place or you are not connected to the things or people around you

from the Cambridge Dictionary definition of dislocated

Location was once a certainty. Things were only where they were and nowhere else. The global pandemic has accelerated a digital dislocation of a massive scale. We are yet to adjust.

I imagine in the quiet cottage of his brain
the sepia of this desert city,
wind, dirt, grit that scuffs your skin.
Wish him gentleness in the shade of shadows.

Loretta Diane Walker, Imagining My Neighbor

We are dislocated. Our favourite places are closed. Our work patterns are disrupted between home, work and third places. Our travel patterns have become alien. Restaurants, cafes and bars are closed and new businesses have opened in their place. Much of the world comes to us through our screens and our phones. It is all quite strange.

Familiar patterns of location, travel, commuting and entertaining are disrupted. We are dislocated by new digital options. People are losing the niceties of social interaction in a physical space. Rudeness, anger and frustration are the result. Frustration at the physical movement of people shows up in our traffic, our movement and a general sense of impatience with the physical world. Dislocation is not a comfortable place.

Once again instinct has taken him where he’s needed; where the unexpected transforms routine into celebration.

Stuart Dybek, Travelling Salesmen

Organisations are pleading for the return of their employees to the office because the social benefits of connection, learning and work are real. Informal interaction doesn’t happen in the zoom call. You can’t belong to a chat.

We are all somewhat dislocated by the disruption to friendships. We need to gather to close these gaps and tell lost tales. All my catch-ups with friends of late must begin with all the stories untold since 2019. We know the public and the shared. The private and the secrets are mysteries and disturb the surface of those public lives. We need places to share secrets. Quiet bars and deep booths work, so too the kitchen, the queue, the cafe and the cool of the porch.

To end this unnerving sense of dislocation we need to fall in love with place and with new places. We need to return to the romance of our being there. Whether work, life, love or simply being, we need to step beyond the screen and be in a place. We need to be there with others. Only then will we be able to ground ourselves again in the tangible venues of our connection to others.

The fall of romance, the hold of the tender new,
programs aloft, every nerve to shudder:
ghosting monitions of the incomplete.
Either will the aching swells, apart from bliss.

Fiona Hile, Forget the Stars

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