April 26, 2020 § 8 Comments
I take nothing for granted these days. I make no easy assumptions. I have no expectations beyond this moment.
This makes disappointment less likely and, strangely, it makes the small things: modest tasks accomplished, the beauty of the non-human life around me, the throaty voice of my guitar, the unexpected message from a friend, feel like gifts—if I don’t expect, anticipate, or feel deserving-of, when the good happens, gratitude washes over me.
This flood of gratitude, far rarer when I believed I controlled my destiny, is a reaction I hope I don’t lose when the panic passes.
The downside is that I don’t dare to hope or let myself look ahead and plan—what if the current darkness catches me nurturing that glimmer and snuffs it out?
Without hope or plan, I hold on tight to right-now, the future a bridge too rickety to walk across.
I clutch this moment hard, doing one thing, then the next. I call a friend, stir the spaghetti sauce on the stove, sit on my front stoop and gaze into the yard, I cross a small and finite task off my small and finite list, and I keep going.
Yes, I keep going.
I haven’t given up. I hold a pen and write my daily pages, realizing that if nothing else, I am a witness, one of many court stenographers recording the unfolding and overwhelming case being made by the pandemic.
Although what I am recording has changed since “normal” took a hike, I have always been a writer, a journal-keeper. By doing the things I have always done I prove to myself that I am still me.
And so I write.
I make music.
I weed the garden.
I reach out to others, although I can no longer hug them, or get close enough to breathe the same air.
I study the buzz and hum of the natural world.
And I think.
I am still here, acknowledging—and experiencing perhaps for the first time—this moment.
I would love to regain the luxury of planning, the comfort of believing in a long, long future, but this moment is all I have, and I now realize, it is all I’ve ever had. And it is enough.