Enough for now

I hit a wall last night. We’re just a bit past the ten-month mark in the pandemic, and I have been weathering the storm reasonably well — sure, there have been up-moments and down-moments, but overall I’ve been riding the wave, keeping my chin up, whatever metaphor you like.

Over the past week or so, though, it’s all started to weigh on me much more than usual. A couple days ago, in a meeting that was about my professional future, I told the friend and colleague I was meeting with that at the moment all I wanted to do was crawl into the woods and be a hermit, leave every last thing behind. I’ve been keeping busy since March with work, with making music, with organizing the work of Three Cranes Grove, with trying to be a strong pillar for everyone I come into contact with. It’s what I do. But eventually the steam runs out; the wave crests; the pillar fractures from repeated blows.

Rehearsals with my beloved chorus start again on Sunday, and I dread them.

Some workdays I write three emails and otherwise I scroll Facebook and play games on my phone, and I call it good enough.

My altar goes untended, except when scheduled ritual comes around and duty calls.

The festival of Imbolc — one of my favorites, a warm, glowing jewel in the heart of winter — is in a week, and I don’t really care.

I’ve known more people in the past month who’ve been sick with COVID, who have died of COVID, than in the nine months before.

And yet also, I’m so exhausted from worrying about the virus, so tired of taking precautions and weighing risk, that I neither feel like I have any good instincts anymore, nor care to.

I finally broke down last night and just sobbed, barely able to get a word out. I wish I could say that I immediately felt better, that there was a release and a lightness. I did feel better, but it wasn’t the lightness of healing; it was the lancing of a boil, the quick gush of pain spilling out. The only lightness I felt was emptiness.

But I went to bed, and I slept well for once. I woke in the pre-dawn, hours and hours before I’ve been tardily dragging myself out of bed for the past few weeks, made coffee, read. And at a chapter break, I glanced up and realized the first light was breaking over the land. I stood outside in the freezing chill and words of praise poured out of me — not fine poetry, just a rush of emotion.

Bright star of morning, arise in my heart
Bright star of dawning, fill me with light
Bright sun of earth’s light, warm me, inspire me
Bright star of morning, arise in my heart

This isn’t an easy “it gets better” post; you don’t have to simply open your soul to the beauty of the world and you’ll be healed of pain and doubt. That’s utter tripe. I’m still tired, and sad, and apathetic, and overwhelmed, and I still want to crawl into the woods and leave all of this behind. But the sun came up, and I saw it, and it gave me a feeling that wasn’t despair for a bit, and that was enough for right now.

One thought on “Enough for now

  1. Living in a state of constant fear, and stress leaves a people mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausted. Personally work as an essential worker in the distribution industry has me physically exhausted too. And my stupid brain trys to compensate by taking on too many side projects, because being too busy to think is my toxic coping mechanism. Living everyday on the verge of a nervous breakdown has become my normal. Also only being able to sleep in 2 hour spurts because the cat is an *a hole is not helping.
    I feel you on the Imbolic thing, trying to find the energy to celebrate just feels like one task too many.
    Sending you e-hugs.
    I’m just greatful that if we have to live through plauge times at least it’s in an era with hot showers, delivery curry, and streaming tv.

    Like

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