I am not myself: my corona diaries

Day 1, week whatever. I am not myself.

Why Day 1 when awareness of COVID-19 has been with us for months?

Is it the snow falling, a post-spring-equinox reminder that seasonal change is fluid?

Is is a revelatory moment, just a day ago, a corner turned in my understanding of the hoarding mentality sweeping over us? Reason had me in the mindset of health—the no-need-to-panic mode of someone who says to herself, two weeks from now I’ll just go out for more paper towels, or chicken, or coffee.

Today, reason has me seeing people stocking up not so much out of fear that stores will run out of what they need but the more dire fear that the new corona will get them. And they won’t be able to go out.

Maybe there’s a middle ground where both fears meet.

Why Day 1, week whatever?

Why am I not myself?

For someone who works from home, and a writer to boot, daily life is not all that different in these times of social distancing. And, yet, hard-wired as I am to routines, days underscored by the corona pandemic have me feeling at sea. Not quite myself. Walking around like a chicken without a head.

As long as I can get out for a walk, meditate, do yoga, read, drink coffee in the morning and wine in the evening, I get by.

As long I get a text or phone call from my daughter, in Los Angeles, I can sharpen my focus, put the head back on the chicken.

Maybe even write.

Why Day 1, week whatever?

Maybe a revelatory moment, a defining one, that locates me in a very particular time and place. Or maybe it’s that these chicken-without-a-head days feel more like a circular loop of time, no beginning or ending—until something brings each of us to a starting point that makes personal sense.

We watch and listen, wait and hope for a marked point out of the circular loop of time to a place where a flattened COVID-19 curve portends the ending—not to be confused with the end—of days marked by confusion, despair, anger, fear.

We take solace in the little things, and the big ones, that make us smile, even laugh.

We temper the greedy, insensitive modes of survival with the generous spirit of true, collective survival. I like to think that social distancing is making us more gracious on social media. And even if it isn’t, it’s making us more present to the collective consciousness we share.

So, as we muddle our way through the best and worst of times a novel corona virus has given rise to, a rekindled sense of purpose, coupled with the ever-present need to make sense of things, brings more immediacy to my blogging self.

All of which has me thinking, from inside that chicken head of mine, of all the ways collective stories take shape.

All of which has me hoping, from that former, steadier self of mine, that blogging is a way of inviting readers to share, via comments, where we are/how we feel/what we need to get through the best and worst of times.

In the beginning there was light. And, there was the word.

4 thoughts on “I am not myself: my corona diaries

  1. Deborah, reading this and connecting with your voice brought light to my morning. You beautifully express how unhinged we’re all feeling, in any circumstance. Your photos took me to the peace of home and the solace of nature. As a single person who recently moved to an urban high rise, now with the first confirmed case of the coronavirus in my building, I balance the feeling of free fall—as in the reversed tower tarot card—with meditation, yin yoga, and social-distance outdoor walks. These practices, and reaching out to friends in texts and calls, helps me to find gratitude even now. Keep the blogs coming!

    • It does feel like free fall, doesn’t it? But you’re so right re: doing what we need to balance it. Reaching out to friends matters and does help us make whatever sense there is to be made. Yes to the gratitude that eases the despair. That, and springtime 🙂

  2. I share Maya Angelou’s quote and some thoughts that are at the bottom of every email I send. The last sentence may be an answer…it always helps me.

    “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

    Maya Angelou

    “To be original, you need messiness and magic, serendipity and insanity.”
    “Walk good, Miss Lou – and may good walk with you”
    “The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven”.

    • I love Maya Angelou’s work. Thank you for the reminder of what it means to thrive.

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