This weekend has been hard for many of us, as we do our best to prepare for the week that is to come. I appreciate Sue’s willingness to share so openly and honestly.
Heavy on my heart
by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, CA
I am on shelter in place for the fourth week now. The good news is there is a hint of slowing here in California. The bad news is that the peak is still about four weeks away, and the get out of jail card probably won’t come for a month after that. Another eight weeks here at home.
Most days I feel great and am raring to go, but today was not the same. I feel as though Joe Btfsplk from Li’l Abner has somehow done a Vulcan mind meld with me. I am anxious and depressed, tired and crabby.
I woke in the middle of the night screaming, another nightmare. The nightmares have been with me for as long as I can remember, but they had abated significantly in the last few years. Usually, Russ can tell by my breathing and unintelligible verbiage that I am escalating to a scream and will gently touch me and whisper, “It’s just a dream.” Last night, I went from zero to scream in a nanosecond. The dream was of a body lying on top of me making it impossible for me to move. I was frantic to push this dead weight off of me when another was dropped. I screamed loud enough to wake myself and Russ, probably the neighbors, too, if it were summer and all the windows were open.
The dream is heavy on my heart. I know it is the knowledge of how many have died and will die in the coming months all around the globe. There is a sense of helplessness to avert this devastation. I am doing what the people who know say to do. I am staying home and washing my hands. They are raw and red to prove it. Groceries are delivered, an occasional meal, a walk out front, FaceTime with the grandkids, a thousand-piece puzzle about half done, but yet there is a cloud of darkness hanging over this beautiful sunshiny day here in Los Angeles, and, I am afraid, it extends around the globe.
We all must bide our time at home as we create a new normal in our lives and when this virus has run its course in our world, everything as we have known it will have changed. Usual haunts will not necessarily reopen, favorite stores may never see the light of day. It leaves open the door to new habits, a strengthening of our preparedness for future cataclysms, for they will come unbidden again, and beyond all else, an awareness that we are all one bunch of resilient humans that have an enormous capacity for compassion and love towards one another and an ability to, at last, learn the Zen notion that the only thing we can be sure of is change.