I keep notes and draft of this online journal in monthly files. At the top of the file, I have monthly plans, goals or aspirations. Sometimes “write more” or “daily sit” or “gym 3x week.” April’s “plans” say: remain curious, survive, grow compassion, nap.
Somewhat shameful admissions (Although I am hardly filled with shame for any of these) and other things:
-Some kind of candy is a part of every shopping list. This week, a bag of M&M’s. I don’t think I ever, in my own house, bought biweekly candy. I am eating some now.
-I keep forgetting what day it is. Seriously. I remember this as a fleeting feeling during long vacations or when I have been resolutely doing one huge task, but during those times, there have always been outside intrusions to grab hold of, to help keep track of temporal placement. Now, here, after 27 days in quarantine, there are few temporal hooks and those zoom meeting that we are scheduled to click into can very easily be ignored or forgotten. I check the calendar and clock often to keep us logging into our commitments and sometimes, I still forget. I am grateful for the little red dot on my online calendar that always tells me the correct date. Sometimes this is disconcerting, sometimes I don’t mind. It is a way of life, an experience that I might have sought on a long spiritual retreat or a writer’s residence. In someway I have been curious about this kind of time, this day melting into day without end. Who would have guessed I would experience it in my own house for an undisclosed amount of time during a pandemic quarantine?
-Naps are my ultimate escape. Better even than a night’s sleep. Almost anything can be solved or healed with a nap—a sad mood, a tantrum, a meltdown, boredom and afternoon malaise.
-I have managed a two week gap between food shoppings and set out like a hunter at first light the other day. The stores had changed— most workers wore gloves and masks, there was tape on the floors to keep us apart on check out lines, plexiglass shields protect cashiers and shoppers, no more reusable bags. And there are are often lines, long lines to wait to get into stores. I am grateful for the institutional help with social distancing and yet . . . . I am curious as to what will come next.
-I am fearful and I am not flexible with transitions. The beginning on online school this week was uncomfortable. It is hard to describe how intrusive it felt. Julia and I had found our own system of days and neither of us wanted to accustom ourselves to something else. And there were and are so many bumps—classes are scheduled and rescheduled, computer systems go down, meet ups that work one day go wonky the next, we can’t get into files that Julia needs to do work. Some times we, she and I, have no patience for the next small hurtle and the only things that help are walks or naps.
-We walk almost every day. Julia hates walking in the rain and I bow to this preference, but it is good for us to walk as much as we can. We look for signs of spring. I was the one pointing out trees budding and flowers blooming two weeks ago. Yesterday, over and over Julia stopped me to look at trees and blooms. We are appreciating green on our Newton walks.
-We are now walking with face masks thanks to a dear Madison friend. We don’t need to use masks when we take walks, we see very few people but we need to practice for the unexpected, for some awful circumstance that the addition of a mask might make unbearable. So, we practice.
And I write pysanky.