(Image: AAP Image/James Ross)

Lockdowns, living in fear of easily communicated infections, rules and regulations for social engagement that are oppressive -- these are frustrations common to many of us right now. They induce boredom, anger and resentment, and their open-endedness underline how much of our lives are out of our control in this time of the pandemic.

My experience in this time is intensified by the recurrent acute mood swings that followed surgery -- the amputation of my left leg at the knee in a life-threatening situation just over 12 months ago. The most difficult thing I find in managing my personal and spiritual life is dealing with these mood swings every day -- sometimes several times a day.

It’s not my first experience of such constraints -- 50-some years ago I learnt a very important lesson which has stood me in good stead.