Saturday, August 8, 2020

Encapsulated

        A close friend of mine contacted me and said, "I went to your blog to catch up and you haven't written since March?!"

       Her words made me weep.

       Even as I write my answer to her, I weep.

       What could have happened since March to keep me from the page and bring on all these tears?

       The answer is mind-numbingly global and deeply personal.

       In March, our world shut down. I'm not referring to my family's world, but to the Entire World. We all stepped off a curb and into a separate dimension, one of those dystopian, apocalyptic times described so painfully well in science fiction novels.

       Every single person was ordered to go home, quarantine, refrain from contact with anyone. No travel, no concerts, no summer vacations. No going to the grocery store much less visiting the sick and dying.

       Faced with the magnitude of living inside a pandemic, what was there for me to say?

       I attempt, in my blog posts, to be hopeful, funny, personal yet universal.

       How to be hopeful when we were all terrified of the invisible, deadly monster outside our doors? How does one even mention "hope" when faced with a world-wide plague? Like everyone else, I was deeply afraid.

       And any attempt at being funny in such a terrible time, would be irreverent. It would feel like I was belittling our mutual, real, anxiety. Even writing about the antics of our chickens felt cheap and thin.

       And finally, why write about my personal experience of these terrible times when everyone else was experiencing the same? Any feelings I would write about were shared by billions of other people. I could not think of any unique angle for myself.

       And then, in late May, when I was finally sharpening my pencil to write blog posts, a horrific act of violence was perpetrated against a black citizen by a white police officer -- using his bare hands to kill on a public street, witnessed through video by the entire world.

       This act occurred in downtown Minneapolis, six blocks from where my daughter lives. She is a hard-working, tax-paying citizen who was suddenly inside a war zone.

       Every night more disturbance occurred there and every day I talked to my child about surviving there. This went on for a week.

       Then another week.        

       Then another week.

       My experience of that time is unique, and I knew I would write about it on my blog. But I couldn't write then. The intensity of my feelings would have destroyed countless pencils, burned up pages and scorched my desk, got me kicked off the internet for my foul, bitter language.

       I have wanted to write about that, and about my own tiny survival of the 2020 Plague, but I have been in a time capsule of suspended animation.

       It took the love of a friend to get me back here.

       So often, as a writer, I feel alone. Why bother to tell stories or to react to the news of the day? My voice is tiny, insignificant, unheard.

       And then, out of the blue, someone wondered where my voice had gone. She tapped on my capsule and inquired about me.

       Because I love her, and because I do have a voice, and because my voice craves to be heard – even by one beloved friend – I return to this blog.

       My blog will be different now because I am different. But truthfully, every single one of us is different now.

       We are in a new dimension, a time of apocalyptic change.

       I will attempt to report about it from my tiny place, even though the reporting makes me weep.

       Thank you, friend.

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad you're back. It is so easy to feel alone, even though the whole world is going through this. I have found myself electronically reaching out to people more despite my antisocial tendencies. I am interested to hear more of your account of the times we are in.

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