|Official artwork of this time|
*I love my initials*
I haven't written here since the pandemic, social distancing and stay-at-home orders. I've written elsewhere, of course, and at night while I'm trying to sleep I write like a demon in my mind. It's weird, when I am in front of a blank Google document or blog window the words don't flow like they do when I'm working things out before resting in the dark quiet of my room with the hum of a fan and Shawn's sleeping presence.
Everything is different. And yet a lot is the same. Some of that I can explore and unpack in a post for the magazine, since that's parenting-related. But some things are emotional and messy and more ME, and I decided this is the place to write and keep those memories. Or at least attempt that.
On a Zoom meeting yesterday (church staff meeting, of which I'm not on staff but my volunteer presence has expanded exponentially during this time ... another experience to unpack that's appropriate for here or as a faith story but another post entirely -- for a time such as this), our pastor asked for an internal weather check. Similar to John Wesley's "how is it with your soul" but with the prompt to respond with weather metaphors. I get a constricted heart and panic when asked the soul question. I'm not in tune enough to have a good answer, perhaps? It's also general anxiety of sharing with people that pre-dates the pandemic. But I experienced it anew in this virtual experience. I have answered the question more honestly on previous calls because the answer was clearer (mostly cloudy, anxious, maybe a little windy from the swings up and down). Yesterday I just said "fair" because in the moment it was just OK -- my kids were fine in the other room doing their Kindles, I could focus on whatever the call was going to be about. The reality of my internal weather, however, is volatile and there is not a constant weather pattern to be sure.
While trying to sleep last night what kept coming to mind was RAGING STORMS of anger. I am furious at the lack of federal leadership. This type of situation was what entered my mind and filled my being with terror on November 9, 2016. When this jerk and the establishment that enabled and supports him ruins everything my fears included: How will I get contacts? Will I have enough pens and paper and eyeliner? (Good grief.) How will I take care of my kids, and how can people who love them deeply do this to them? And those fears are more real than ever in this time.
Currently I'm furious with the notion that we can get back to "normal" any time soon, even as tens of thousands of Americans have died from this. How many deaths were preventable if adequate personal protective equipment were available? If the pandemic team hadn't been fired years ago? If shut downs and shelter-in-place orders had been issued across the country (you know, at a federal level)?
So I can push those storms down temporarily, and focus on my own little world and my little work. Parenting my two girls through this. Supporting Shawn and his research work. Keeping our church family connected through online offerings and other support. But when the rages surface they are engulfing. And the storms and anger can absolutely spill over into these other areas of my life. I speak unkindly, overstep my bounds and even break things (RIP two pairs of headphones so far).
The raging serves no constructive purpose, but neither can I change that about myself. I hope by recognizing it, marking it down and sharing it I can step toward peace or some semblance of it.