A friend of mine texted me out of the blue to ask how I was doing. I said I’m OK, but that I think it’s “the end of days” going on right now. I’m not sure if this hellfire of strangeness is biblical, but it sure feels like it.
It would be just like the Universe to send the Earth into an unrecoverable tailspin just when I finally get my life together and good things start happening. I mean I get married and look what happens. Good grief. (Of course I’m not that self centered but how else does one human being approach trying to make sense of madness and chaos).
2020 – The year a deadly virus travels the globe and threatens the health, safety, and well being of every person on the planet. Humanity is tested to the extreme by the global pandemic. Results are pending.
2020 – The year racial tensions escalated in a way I’ve never experienced in my lifetime. Protests erupt into violence and people are hurt and murdered. Curfews are put in place in my city. Human beings are pushed to the edge of what they can tolerate. A test wrapped snug inside the first test. Results still pending.
2020 – The year America launches people into space for the first time in decades in a venture that was privately funded. Proving to the world that not only are we making progress forward again, but are dedicated to continuing on that path, driven by a desire to explore new horizons and fueled by determination. But how on Earth do we celebrate this when any celebration feels dangerous and disrespectful.
The spiral wraps a little tighter. A coil compressed with so much pressure. What’s a girl to do?
Get involved? Volunteer? Wait out the surge in hiding? Engage in conversations? Actions speak louder than words, but actions have consequences.
2020 – The year I was supposed to get married and now that day is a distant daydream. I’d like to rewind the clock 4 months and hug my friends and parents and siblings again. How long will it be before I can hug you again.
2020 – The year my daughter was supposed to have her senior prom, graduate, and celebrate making it 13 years through school. Senior lock-in-night, prom, skip day, grad parties, and graduation all cancelled save for a 1 hour virtual video I sat alone and watched, crying for her and myself and the fact that like most things, this too will just pass and fade.
2020 – The year I was supposed to finish my MFA. Celebrate with my new crew on the back patio, taking turns saying “cheers” as the sun slides into the trees behind us. The vision of that moment dissolved into a perpetual winter with white noise on an 13 inch laptop screen that constantly reminds me that my “internet connection is unstable”. My hope is hanging on a thread I’ll get to see these folks in person in January. My thesis sits in a box on the floor.
2020 – A year that’s already in shreds and yet I push forward for the launch of a new online lit mag. I turn a blind eye and just do the next damn thing on the checklist because it’s all I can do. I mean, I could have put it on pause. Would that have been the right call? No, I don’t think so. I believe in our mission and the power of words. Maybe this is just what Omaha needs. Maybe our mission and lifting up certain voices will help us all inch forward.
2020 – Almost half way through the year and I can’t stop myself from crying and I don’t care. I’m human and I do as the humans do. It’s these private moments when I’m torn between gratitude and self-pity, between helplessness and empowerment. A yo-yo winding and unwinding on some invisible string.
Maybe it’s the end times, but I don’t think so. The only end times I really believe in is the sun going nova and that’s not supposed to happen for millions of years. I wonder if human beings will still be around when that happens? Probably not. Not if we keep going like we are right now.
It’s June 1st. A new day, a new week, and a new month. All we can really do is put pants on and try, once again, to retain our humanity and find something of the good life in the day.
Wishing You Peace My Friends,