May 05, 2020
Scallion-ends growing new shoots.
Some days feel almost normal. Especially Sundays when I'm doing laundry, or planning what to cook, or sitting on my mirpesset watching the sky.
Those are all things I routinely did before the pandemic. Baking challah on Fridays is another. Lighting Shabbat candles. Reading with my kid at bedtime.
Anything that connects me with old rhythms of time can bring comfort. It can remind me that life unfolded before the pandemic, and will unfold again after.
Some days feel painful all the way through. I wake up grieving for the world, I struggle with the news of deaths and protests, I wrestle with despair.
And some days I feel mostly okay. Sunshine, and the chartreuse of new spring leaves, lift my spirits and my heart. So do the voices of friends from afar.
Of course, even when I'm feeling sanguine, I'm aware of the pandemic. There are terrible losses everywhere. I can't forget that thousands are dying.
The news that by June 1, the government expects the daily death rate to rise to 3,000... it's so terrible I can't hold on to it. My mind shies away.
When I can be in the moment -- breathing in "right here," out "right now," as Lorianne taught me so many years ago -- I feel more present, and more okay.
When I get caught up in thinking about the future (the likelihood of more waves of infection, the countless awful lonely deaths to come) I falter.
When I think of all the things my son is losing this year, I grieve. I tell myself that he'll be okay, that he's resilient, that he is learning good tools.
Time becomes fluid. The two months (so far) of sheltering in place and social distancing feel simultaneously shorter and longer than they measurably are.
And of course this is a journey of unknown duration. It's easier if we know when a thing will end. There is absolutely no knowing when this will end.
And yet life goes on. I make coffee. I cook meals. My son does math problems, plays Minecraft, re-reads a favorite book. It's like normalcy... almost.
I know how fortunate we are to have something like normalcy. I try not to think about how precarious that is. How easily these comforts could fall away.