Lately I wake up with a pounding heart and a knotted stomach.
My heart breaks a little bit each day lately and I haven' t been able to create anything. I wish I was one of those artists who thrives during tragedy, but I tend to retract like a caterpillar.
Ultimately I do adjust and begin to recalibrate, but adjust is too kind a word. I'm settling into discomfort.
I have lived in the state of NY my entire life, and I have lived/visited most parts of it. For anyone who knows this state, the ocean lies at its edge, and I lived there for most of my teenage years. I went to college right outside of NYC and had many adventures there. And I've lived in the upstate region for a vast majority of time. I know it so well, the rocks are familiar to me in terms of texture and smell.
And my heart is breaking.
One person dies an hour in the city right now, and doctors don't have enough masks. I was never naive enough to think this wasn't ever going to happen. That we were immune to pandemics. But for it to actually happen takes a reality check. And here we are, living in a historical time. And frankly, compared to other pandemics, this is mild.
If this is mild, I am terrified of extreme.
I am a teacher and I work from home now. I am trying to create a new normal for myself. There is so much I want to do. I want to paint and go out into the world. But I am frozen. I'm not going to pretend I am not experiencing paralyzing fear and debilitating sadness. I look through photos and realize I will never be the same. And neither will anyone else.
I am extremely interested in everyone's process and how they handle this emotionally, in awe of the range of human tenderness and resiliency. I take inspiration watching each person I love deal with this experience.
Truthfully I've decided not to feign calm today. I'm shattered. I'm resilient, but I'm in pain.
Once in awhile I cry uncontrollably, and other times I cook and take solace in social media. I surrendered to being locked down. I've accepted I can't help anyone, except by staying home.
I want to take action, but all I can do is wait. And watch from my screen.
But I'm wandering around bouncing off the walls, feeling everything. I'm not ashamed of it and I won't pretend I'm fine.
My state is hemorrhaging lives and I am in despair. I'm afraid for the people I love.
I love life. I love this world and this planet. I love creating and the sun through the trees. I love this exquisite sliver of time we've been granted and I don't want it to go out this way. If anything is gorgeous that comes out of my emotional state its the clarity I have about what I love and how beautiful and tender humans are. Feeling this breaks my heart more.
And so it is.
I know for sure other writers and artists felt this way, locked down in 1918. I know our ancestors have been through this before.
I take solace in that.
But for now I will mourn for the loss and the fear and light a candle for the people across the world crying with me and waiting hopefully for the sun to rise again in our hearts.
I know this will change and pass through.
But for now all I can feel is the weight of the world. And my heart is heavy.
I love you.