Updated: May 11, 2020
I hope this weekend is finding you feeling grounded, healthy, and secure. If you're not feeling so wonderful, I hope you can find some time today to care for yourself or tend to something that needs tending. I have been in a strange space this last week. Not bad, just odd. The pandemic has its own air, feeling, and culture. I'm starting to reflect back to when the stay-at-home orders were put into effect, and how that made the world feel. It seems we are starting to move into a new phase that I can't exactly put my finger on. I know there are people who are feeling desperate, hence the push from some quarters to go back to work, "open the economy" (a phrase I despise, it's truly a string of nonsensical words), and resume normal life. I can't help but think that this push is a fear response, an insistence that somehow if we can all just act normal, then things will be normal. Just... slap a band-aid on that fracture and let's move ahead. You know, like we always do! It's fine. Our ability to adjust to the most abnormal of circumstances is one of the great strengths of human beings, as well as one of our greatest downfalls. And the virus will continue to show us our fault lines; our flawed thinking, our broken systems. We have yet to truly reckon with it, and I'm still hopeful that we will as we transition into a new chapter.
I've been considering how asking and hoping for big change in the world can be reflected through smaller acts in my own personal life. Many of us are tackling nettlesome projects and cluttered corners of our lives during this time, changing our lifestyles by necessity, trying new and previously impossible things like cooking. Every. Goddamn. Meal. Do these things change our inner DNA, our approach to life, how we think? And in turn does that start to crank the wheel on changing the direction of the world? What do you think?
It's Mother's Day in the US today, a holiday that was always regarded with a bit of a rolled eye by my mother, my sister, and myself. Like many holidays, it's a forced consumer opportunity, which my family is congenitally predisposed to resist on principle. Mother's Day can be a loaded holiday. Not everyone has a great relationship with their mom and wants to celebrate her, and many people, like myself, have lost their mom and feel very sad on this day. All I ask from the world is to stop wishing every woman a Happy Mother's Day. Just say it to the mothers in your own life, where it actually means something. I really miss my mom, especially during this time. She would be so into the pandemic. She was a natural student, interested in everything, endlessly curious about a wide variety of subjects. The pandemic provides interesting stories every single day, all day if you have the stamina for it. Knowing my mom she would be deep into her reading of the history of plagues and pandemics and vaccines and the corona family of viruses and using everything she was learning as a case study to understand what was happening today. It would provide endless fodder for conversation. Also, she would be utterly outraged by the government response. I really miss ranting with her. No one could articulate a good rant like my mom.
A side affect of becoming used to this weird new world is getting sloppy about taking precautions. I have noticed in myself a forgetfulness about washing hands and feeling more comfortable with moving freely about in the world. I'm surely not alone in this. This behavior will inevitably lead to a spike in infections, so please take note of your own protocols and re-up on your commitment to staying vigilant if necessary. We have along way to go yet and I would like for as many of us as possible to be there when we get to the other side.