Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow
In a summer that seems to stretch endlessly in a year that - so far - has seemed to last years and not months, I find myself repeating a few lines from Shakespeare's play Macbeth. "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" begins the well-known speech, words that reflect on the sometimes seemingly mundane aspects of life.
Taken from Act 5, Scene 5 of what's known as 'the Scottish play", the full lines brim with a man's frustration,
"Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Since the words were penned by the Bard, they resonate with poetic grandeur. For those without Will Shakespeare's way with words, Macbeth could be expressing what many feel at present. He is complaining about a string of days, each too much like the other, and rants about the short span of life. In short, Macbeth questions the meaning of life and wonders whether or not life matters.
It does, of course, but I am guilty of moments when I wonder.
Sometimes it's hard not to speculate. After all, we're born, we live and we die.
What matters is what we do during that life, what we build and what we leave behind.
I know I am frustrated with this year. Life as we knew it took a sharp turn away from the norm earlier this year. Each year, I always begin on January 1 with wondering what the year will hold, with a sense of anticipation and hope.
Even on March 12, the day that my parent company, Gannett, told us to pack up and work from home until further notice, I had no idea that I would still be doing so as July draws to a close.
Still harder to fathom is that I have no idea exactly when I might take my work back to the office.
Working from home has a few perks. The commute from the coffee pot to the desk is great. But during the past week I read a social media post that stated when you work from home, you live at work.
That hit home - it's true. Although I often took my trusty Macbook home, there were nights when I didn't during the week. Now, it's there, on my desk, ready and waiting.
When this all began, I first set up at my table because I thought - how naive - that the sojourn would be short. A few weeks later, I cleared off the desk my daughter Emily left behind when she moved to her first apartment, where she studied during nursing school, and made it my home headquarters.
Reopening workplaces is going slowly - in August a handful of Gannett properties are set to return to work. Ours is not among them.
So my tomorrows continue to segue into each other and pondering Macbeth's view, it's understandable why he felt as he did - Act V when he speaks the above lines follows Act 4 with the witches and their double, double, toil and trouble.
Although it seems we're all in for a long haul with coronavirus, hope doesn't die that one day this will be behind us. In the meantime, I move through my tomorrows, one day at a time.
-Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy is the community editor for the Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser. She is also a freelance writer and author.