On Relearning

A poet outlines the complicated process of healing, unlearning, relearning, and newness we will grapple with in the coming year.

Harnidh Kaur

Santanu Kumar Santan

Soon, we will all emerge, tired and
pale, and learn again.

How to sway in with a crowd
thrumming with joy and

surrender. How to touch- hands,
faces, skin. How to

accept an embrace without
wondering if it will lead

to hurt. How to tell stories like we
once did, without

fearing the variables and empty
blanks. How to say things

like ‘this is normal, no?’ without
wondering what normal is.

How to meet and hold and share
without it feeling like

something to be done
surreptitiously, under the cover

of excuses and apologies. How to
break bread together

again, and how to exist without
the sterile comfort of

screens between us. So much joy
will be punctuated by

so much loss, and we will somehow
find it in ourselves

to miss the strangeness of what we
lived with. We will

speak with our bodies because
language will struggle to

explain the suddenness with which
the world upended

and righted itself again. We will
try not to look back, yes,

but we will find ourselves drawn
to everything we lost in

the softness of plenty again. It will
take time to learn the

carelessness we cultivated into an
art, but we will somehow,


learn again.

Harnidh Kaur is a startup operator and author. She is currently based in India. Her next book, Twentyish, is slated for a 2021 release.