This is our last dance
This is ourselves under pressure
It’s not for the weak, but as it turns out, none of us are so weak, are we? I surprise myself on a daily basis these days, and that’s not always a good thing, but thinking back to last March/April, I remember thinking, “I can’t bear another two weeks of quarantine.” That’s when we thought quarantine would really be two weeks. I was able to think of those odd two-week increments as palatable doses. Once, I used to struggle with the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, because it loomed lazily and dazedly and full of cheese. I figured, “What’s just another week of something like that?” Another week, rolling into months and maybe years. So much cheese. I used to count down in two week increments, when I couldn’t bear the noise inside my silence.
These are the days it never rains but it pours”
In this rolling laze and daze – both ending and beginning, and beginning and ending. Things are better, sure, but they’re also scary and scattered and threatening. It’s funny how what I want the most, our lives back, is what I also want the least. I want this virus to leave, OF COURSE, but I don’t want my old life back. This very real fear and relief, relief and fear, causes pressure without and within. Implosions and explosions, changing by day. When no one knows what’s going on, and no one knows what will happen, you need to relieve some of that pressure. Snip the corners, poke a hole, and enjoy that slow drain. Let it take you up, up, and away, floating for a spell in the timeless, weightless uncertainty of a life so oddly lived. When you want so badly for the horrific pandemic to end, but for some of the more comforting aspects of pandemic life to stay, forever.
And love dares you to care for
The people on the edge of the night
And love (people on streets) dares you to change our way of
Caring about ourselves”
Before the pandemic, and knowing my October due date, I thought then that this little baby, probably a girl (I was wrong about that), would help me get through sending Scarlet to middle school. That I’d see her off, and then come home to delight in baby soft skin and baby laughs. That vision was so tender and sweet, and it’s strange how the reality has been so much more horrific, but also so much more amazing. I never imagined that the sun would rise and set on countless times together at home. That we’d settle into rhythms and routines, and that she would make those sweet baby laughs happen. This bonus year; bonus dose, of the sweetest love.
Watching some good friends screaming
“Let me out!”
Pray tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people, people on streets”
That’s why I don’t want to go back. Let me move this sweet love forward, and take with me all of the things I learned about myself, and about life. Inching back into a more regular life, I’ve been ecstatic to see people again, but not everyone. I’m selective with who I want to see, just like I am on social media, snoozing and unfollowing and unfriending people for my own sanity. I used to be able to find this sweet safe spot at home, after I had sent the kids up on the friendly school bus, and after I had said goodbye to Cassidy. It was only Athena, Astro, and Luna then. I’d come up and have a long breakfast with my own thoughts. There was no baby, of course, and no Lucy. I couldn’t have imagined a pandemic, and I never could have imagined I’d lose that sacred time.
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets”
The ice melts, the peepers peep, and the birdsong peaks. We wake up to gargantuan tasks, bringing our separate charms and magic spells to them, and they get done well. Packing lunches, baking cookies, feeding babies, brewing coffee, making breakfast, and waking kids up with song is pretty amazing. The days change, as they have to change, and we change too. Des went back to school, Rider turned six months, and pretty soon, Scarlet will be off to school as well. I’m heartbroken and relieved. And I’m heartbroken and relieved, as well, that the pandemic lifestyle will still mostly affect our summer, and maybe many summers too. I don’t know. All I know is sweet birdsong, sweet coffee, and the sweetest love. Just the sweetest love, imagined.
Why, why, why?
Love, love, love, love, love
Insanity laughs under pressure we’re breaking”
From this pandemic, I learned that I don’t crave the alone time I thought I needed, so much as a better balance of quality alone time and quality family time. I learned that a life altering global pandemic doesn’t fix what’s deeply broken, and that includes relationships and selves as well.
I learned how much I love our bubble, of this amazing family and house and land, and how it keeps out the big, bad world for the most part. The virus hasn’t found a home here, and for the most part, we’ve kept out many horrors of the world while also trying to exorcise our own strange demons, and cope in the mid-pandemic world, with wild hopes for a post-pandemic world. I also learned that when the outside world started threatening the bubble, with school and work and demons, I learned how badly I want to keep it intact. Our wonderful bubble world.
I learned that the pandemic was, at times, a crutch and an excuse to avoid the people, places, and things I wanted to avoid anyway, but that only lasts so long. I learned that I absolutely love days or weeks on end with nowhere to be, and I learned that there have been so many parts and systems of life that weren’t working for anyone, including me, and I can change them with the snap of my fingers. The pop of a bubble. And as much as I want to preserve this bubble world, bubbles are flimsy at best, and temporary. Better to pop them and to be soaked by the impact.
I learned that while I was once desperate for things to return to normal for the kids, and I was once counting down the days and weeks and months in which they would go back to school or camp, eventually I stopped counting, and instead started dreading the inevitable return. I will miss, so much, the pitter-patter of medium sized kid feet, our schedules and routines, our plans and conversations, and the sweetest time together that I never did expect and that I always will cherish. Under pressure, of the most terrifying and real thing I’ve ever encountered, with its heavy and dangerous edges, and its sweetest, softest, and most tender middle. Of what matters.
Why can’t we give love that one more chance?
Why can’t we give love, give love, give love, give love
Give love, give love, give love, give love, give love?”