I haven’t been able to bring myself to post much lately because everything I write feels out of place, especially without acknowledging recent events. My family recently lost someone to a COVID-19 infection.
The mundane feels surreal. A lawnmower hums in the distance. The neighbors’ girls are playing hopscotch in their driveway. The dog pokes me with her nose, begging for another walk. We spent last week waiting for phone calls. Our tension was evident when the ringing drew us together in the house– “Another telemarketer.”– and then we dispersed. Waiting for phone calls was the best we could do.
Picking up the pieces must be done differently in a pandemic. You can’t hop on a plane and be with your loved ones. You can’t hold each other in your loss. You can’t have a funeral. You can only sit in your house, listening to the words that come through the phone. It’s not the same as a hand on the shoulder or a long, tight hug. Human touch. Most of what we do to create ritual and familiarity during crisis is dangerous now. We have to make new ways to find comfort. I’m enjoying photo albums, warm cookies, and afternoons in the grass, watching butterflies and house finches.
I know that consuming content not related to COVID-19 is an important distraction for many of us, myself included. I’m hoping to put my writing brain to work again soon.
Hope you’re all staying safe and well.