Resting in Peace

You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

This week we lost one of our friends. Not to COVID but to cancer, diagnosed just a month ago. We watched from a distance as the disease ate through his vitality and tore open his family’s hearts. As much as funerals are painful to attend, not being able to comfort his widow in person, when she was one of the few to do the same for us after my miscarriage, has been its own kind of torment. Flowers will never mean as much as the solidarity of shared presence or a hug.

Of course, the reason for being confined to our home was the Virginia Governor’s stay-at-home order. Since my work is tied to software development, this has been a relatively easy transition for us–we like to spend our days together. Being on what amounts to a retreat while the economy crumbles and people around us worry about the invisible boogeyman of a virus, though, has challenged even my capacity for Sitzfleisch.

I’m using breathing exercises more often–including this one from the Navy SEALS. And I’m really grateful that I haven’t been inundated with virtual events as described in the MIT Technology Review.

And I’m interested to read how quickly the natural world can rebound without humans being in the way. Plague-ridden pasts have introduced a number of social changes. It will be fascinating to watch to what degree our work lives evolve as the population begins to emerge from these restrictions.

All of which is to say, I’m still on a reading binge more than a writing binge. My need for escapism and enjoying somebody’s Happily Ever After far exceeds my ability to write further in a post-apocalyptic story that has some uncomfortable parallels with what we’re going through. Goodreads says I’m now 10 books ahead of my reading challenge schedule. The only thing likely to slow my reading down in the next few weeks is that hubs is making great strides on recording his newest album, so I’ll be playing with my layout and design tools again to pull together the packaging for his CD. I’m grateful at least one of us is able to exercise our creative voice while we’re living through this latest “unprecedented” societal experience.

It may well be that I have to pursue one of my alternate plotbunnies to rediscover my own creative voice. Luckily, I binge-bought book covers for a few of them a couple months back, so if I do, there may be a surprise release later this year. I’ll keep you posted on that.

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