Day ? of the plague.
It’s been a while. A long while. What have I been doing? Well, it’s been a slog and a trudge and a period of toil, just to keep my head above water. Has it felt like that for you as well?
Even so, I have tried to keep writing and mostly failed. Several days I have taken to my bed, pulled the covers over my ears, and said, “This day is over!” Never mind it was three in the afternoon.
But, in spite of everything, I find I cannot help but be amazed at storms and eagles and snakes (my Best Beloved less enthralled than I with that last one) and children floating on inner tubes up the creek and blueberries that explode on the tongue and hydrangeas and good strong coffee in the morning. I am grateful for the kindness of friends, and their laughter, and the way they will share tears when tears are necessary.
Still. Speaking of tears.
My aunt died of COVID. Alone in a hospital, with no family around her. I didn’t know Bernice well, but this I do know, she was loved, and she was sweet and kind. My mother holds her tears in and tries to be philosophical, in spite of everything.
A friend of my heart passed away suddenly early Saturday morning. A spiritual guide, a mentor, a teacher, someone I’ve known since I was fourteen, and with whom I talked at least twice a week. Michael. I knew something was terribly wrong, but when we talked he insisted he was fine. Just tired. Just a bit of undigested tofu. And then his sister called and he was gone. A Michael-shaped hole in the world, and not just for me, but for SO many people. But is he gone? I don’t think so. He has transformed, yes, but he is still here, still caring for all the many people he cared for, even so. Several of his friends dreamed about him on the night he passed. He’s like that. Checking on everyone. Making sure we’re okay. Making sure we’re still going forward in a good way, even so.
And it may not seem like much to most people, but one of the fish in our pond, one of the original four, and so fifteen-years-old, didn’t survive the power outage of the storm. That hurt. I felt guilty. We buried him in the back of the garden, where the wildwood stands, safe in the hands of the God of animals. And he might be just a fish, but he was mine, and a wept, even so.
But, we go on as life demands and as Michael insists. Thus, I celebrate my friend, Aefa Mulholland, a wonderful writer, who earned her MFA thesis this week, even so. I am made joyous to learn the lump under Bailey (the pup’s) ear turned out to be nothing. The few tomatoes that survived the hurricane are delicious. And…another friend, the inspirational Pastor Erich Kausmann, continues to feed the hungry and comfort the grieving in Trenton, in spite of everything, having found his life to be so much more useful than he ever thought it would be during all those years he spent in prison.
Plus, the forecast indicates this lung-searing heat may be over today, and in spite of everything, I still love a book. a quiet place to sit, and a cup of tea.
Tell me, dear ones, what’s sustaining you these days?