And the soul cries out
After all, I had the dogs with me. I had a manuscript to work on and a planned writing retreat that moved virtually instead of physically. I also had more yarn that I could find projects for and 50 pounds of clay to work on my ceramics from home. Not to mention a half dozen fruit trees to prune and the daily work of keeping the woodstove burning.
While I knew that the covid-19 virus was dangerous and would sweep through the country, there was not much I could do against its enormity beyond practicing good viral hygene and staying in isolation. I had thought I would be able to keep some emotional distance from my distress by pretending my time at the farm was simply a personal retreat. I have come here before on my own, for a week or so at a time for the silence and the stillness.
And for most of a week or so, I was able to hold back the sadness, even as I allowed myself to follow the news and social media. Even as I heard daily from my spouse about what his hospital was preparing for and then seeing. Even as people were sickening and dying. Even as place after place shut down and people retreated into isolation.
Last night, it hit me. Hard.
This morning, I awoke with a profound sadness like a lump in my throat and a weight on my heart.
My manuscript sits, unlooked at. The yarn is set aside in a cardboard box. The clay is in a sealed plastic bag and all my tools scattered on the worktable.
A friend called me a few hours ago. She recounted a conversation she'd had with her sister, who said "I finally get it" in relation to the virus and its seriousness. She finally got it because a friend of hers had fallen ill.
And rather than feel any sort of vindication over this, it made me angry. A sort of exhausted fury that just made me want to weep in frustration.
I didn't hear someone who was enlightened. I heard someone with a profound and dangerous lack of empathy who couldn't acknowledge suffering unless it happened to someone in her small circle.
I have always described myself as a relentless optimist. Today, I am weary. My soul cries out. And yet I want to feel more, not less.
I will let myself be sad and tired and angry. No good comes from shutting down feelings. Not for me and not for those around me.
Day 19. And my soul cries out.
Let yours cry out with me.