The Mad Dog Days are still here. And I think to myself I haven’t blogged in a long time. It’s difficult putting thought to the ether when so many suffer. So many die, more than that; so many are scared, so many are locked in their homes, behind their masks, because it is scary. I’m not going to get into the statistics, the politics, the fears. But I can share how hard it is to share joy online when so many suffer.
If you enjoy picking olives for instance, as I do. (There are still black ones on the trees, go pick some.) Or enjoy listening to the birds when standing still, when it’s quiet – phone off. It’s like joy spills off my fingertips when I’m peeling carrots, or typing words, reading a good, feeling poem. I’ve come to really appreciate what brings me joy and it makes me squirm with guilt because so many suffer and how can I be so blessed. And then I count all the things that make me unhappy, and there’s a good list of suffering. Good enough to assuage my guilt, but it does nothing to relieve the people who are hit hard by corona, by life.
I have a friend who goes to bed with a mix of pills and wine. I said to her, after listening to her litany of sorrows, “I’m so sorry I can’t help relieve your pain. I feel so useless that I can’t do anything.”
She said something that stuck with me, “It helps to know that I’m not alone. That I can share my pain and feel someone cares.”
I bring wine to my friend for the new year. Not to encourage but to support. Maybe if I joyfully hand it to her, she can stop the pills. Maybe she will know she’s not alone. Maybe my prayers will help in some energetic way that her year will be easier, more blessed with positive, happy energy.
What I’m trying to say is being joyous takes a lot more courage than people realize. It’s so easy to wallow in the negative energy (and there’s a nuclear minefield of negativity at the moment). It’s so easy to treat each other like human germs at the moment, rather than human beings. We’re all under an enormous amount of stress, with kids at home, and corona at large, and so much unknown.
We all carry our stories, some hide them better than others. I think it’s a reason we all need to be extra sensitive to one another. Think before we tell someone off harshly for not wearing their mask over their nose, say it kindly, share how scared you are, share how wearing the mask will help you feel safe.
I’m trying to work within what I can share and control – a jar of freshly brined olives, a walk in the sun, I’m learning I can’t be there for everyone all of the time. I can be there for myself, collect my joy one bit at a time and feed that inside of me, and hopefully, it will spill over, hopefully, I can make someone out there feel less alone.