And by that, I mean the week in which I have nothing. Nothing to say or do or offer. No words of comfort and hope, or inspiration and dreams. Is this the week? I have blogged my way through 10 years of joyous and treacherous living, and there are probably no limits to those heights and those depths. My default settings, though, are made of hope and light. Like a machine, you can find it shining through me – untouchable and uncatchable. You can’t bottle it or sell it, and you can’t always catch it when you want it. You can’t put it in a glass jar, poke holes at the top, and let it shine your way when you want. Oh no, you don’t have that luxury. I don’t have that luxury.
I felt alone – so alone – even with a puppy wrapped around my head. The questions that Finish the Sentence Friday asks this week are about time travel. As I drifted off, I thought about the reasons someone would travel to the past or to the future. You’d time travel to try to change the past or the future. Or you’d time travel just to see or glimpse the past or the future. Something you never got to experience. Something you’ll never get to experience. Or something beyond your wildest dreams or nightmares – like when you think you’re doing everything so powerfully and wonderfully – but really you’re nothing. You’re nowhere – trapped between better times.
Maybe this is how you catch the light, in jars with holes at the top, but it isn’t meant to be trapped. Only channeled and breathed in, like a mere passing glimpse of hope on a warm night.
Here’s the thing, though. You had the power and words to make changes, you will again have the power and words to make changes, and you do right now too. It’s that certain something moving us all through. I still don’t know what form or forms it will take/is taking and I hate feeling powerless. It starts at home, of course. With you. With all of us. I never thought I’d necessarily want to be a time traveler, and that’s because I’ve always thought I had an incredible grasp of time – in the way I can stretch and manipulate it for myself. Sometimes, it’s luck. Sure. And sometimes, it’s more than that. I know this. Like whenever I forgot my homework in elementary school, and that exact class would be canceled for an assembly when I got to school.
I’m not saying it’s magic – and I’m not saying it’s not. Maybe it’s just the way you look at things, and at how open hearts and open minds lead to open experiences. It’s like how Scarlet’s first year of life felt, to me, like years of childhood did. Endless and possible, with grins stretched ear to ear. And how if you time a cross-country flight just right, you can see three sunrises or three sunsets all in a row. Time isn’t real, and it’s the realest thing too – when you watch it fall through your hands like burning beams of light – or when you drink in its enormity, dust mites and all.
People talk about how they felt and what they did in the weeks leading up to this crisis, which started for most of us here during the week of March 13th. Many of us remember our ignorance is bliss, turning into quiet concern, and then red-hot alarm. Cassidy had a source or did the math or followed the logic and knew about this weeks before the rest of us. He quietly and casually prepared – nothing crazy like toilet paper hoarding. I had my own quiet and casual preparation and I had planned to ride out my first trimester with a good food supply, a good DVR supply, job security and a nest egg to take time off, and lots of time at home. Lots of it.
Of course, without the panic and fear and stress, which is very real. Some days and nights, I’m astonished at how normal life can seem. A quiet walk in the sun, a movie at night, and maybe some couch naps. Other times, I’m hyperaware of how it’s not normal and how terrified many of us are. For ourselves, for our loved ones, for our countries, for our world. We wonder – what will it take to feel normal again? Will there be a new normal? Will we ever recover from this – either physically or emotionally? There will be a first road trip, a first flight, a first dental or routine doctor appointment. Therapy offices and gyms and spas may be slow at first, but as we feel safer, they’ll be filled to the brim. Buses will puff smoke again, and drivers will honk horns again.
If I were a time traveler, I’d go back to when ignorance was bliss. Yes, we already had a badly broken and bruised world (country), and yes, I always had my fears and stressors and alarms. I’d go back just to experience an ordinary day. The beauty in the breakdown. Exit plans and exit ramps. Hotels and hope, and so much possibility. A boring day. Maybe a rainy day, with sloth puzzles and morning smoothies. Or a weekday, with meetings and appointments, brunch with friends, and an iced decaf latte over smiles with strangers. The rush, the pressure, and the hustle and bustle of an achingly normal day. Will we feel that aching pressure again? Of course we will.
Blinking, we’ll step into the light. Slowly, at first. How long will it take to smile and hug and shake hands again? How long will it take to plan coffee dates, movie nights, date nights, parties, weddings, and long overdue funerals? Will it take long to laugh freely again; to live in that way?
I’m linking up with Finish The Sentence Friday (FTSF) for another fun prompt. This week’s topic is “If I were a time traveler..” What’s on your playlist these days? Link up your post HERE.