Small

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


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This is a time when I feel very small. We read and talk and posture and learn, always working to convince ourselves that we are bigger, we are strong, we are enough. And then something comes along and we realize we are just one wave in an enormous crashing ocean. All the answers , all the power seems to seep away and like a child dependent on an abusive parent, we hold our hand out to powers we don't really trust and drink in their words because what else can we do?

All my spiritual exercises and practices make me feel very silly. I read an article about not giving or taking ibuprofen with this illness and thus HAD TO GO BUY Acetaminophen (Tylenol). I was embarrassed about showing my frailty as a human, my dependence on these bits of information laid bare, but as I walked through the eerie night,  away from the clicking traffic lights (the streets were so quiet) into the drugstore, and back to the pain reliever aisle, I found just one lone bottle of  children's liquid acetaminophen left. I was not the only worried one. And I felt both justified and sheepish at the same time.

I picked up more coffee, because I know what is important, noted the lack of toilet paper and paper towels, and picked up the teensiest little box of Kleenex, because you never know. All the interactions were awkward between everyone, and I stepped back into the quiet night feeling so alone.

And I try to put a spin on it, and it is a little exciting. I know. I know! I am immature. I am not supposed to say that. It is horrible and my mother would berate me so, but if I step back for a minute I think, this is feeling we have been chasing for years. Chasing around with our dystopian novels and movies, wishing we could really touch and understand the depths of life. And here it stands, surreal, and I feel as if I am standing in molasses and my head is filled with thick, numbing syrup. I don't feel fear. Just anxiety. And confusion.

And I think eventually it will all go back to normal, because what else can I think? and I hope the casualties of life aren't so great. I hope unemployment is short and recovery is quick both in human cost and fiscally, because I worry.

And I can close my eyes as I type and pause for a minute, and in the eeriness of this quiet, quiet world, I can feel our pulse, shared and steady, and love how we are all in this together.

Whatever it is.

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