Every Sunday for months, I have logged on to a Zoom meeting with other writers. We make a list of random words, and write on our own for 30 minutes. We then read our work to the group, and share feedback.
This community has become so very dear to me. We share our words and our hearts with each other.
Below is what I wrote today. The words from the list are bolded.
Today I am aquamarine, a cousin to blue-but a little brighter. I am discombobulated in the in-betweenness of what life was two years ago and the tangle of what it is today. For years I have been a potter adding water and motion to the lump of clay that has been my life. Somedays I feel the art taking shape, adept at this medium and other days it seems the mud may splatter and fly entirely off the wheel. I have grown content in the isolation. Eating porridge, a practical breakfast fancied up with frozen berries, brown sugar, and a splash of milk. Warm and nourishing, I often think I don’t need much more than the simple staples in my pantry.
I went to in-person church today–a first since last July. I went to be present for a special occasion–a child’s confirmation. I was greeted like a long-lost friend–the hold-out from this weird time. And as I suspected, they assume I am back for good, but I am not: I am not ready to re-emerge. I didn’t know just how much I was struggling before lockdown, what a relief this time apart from everything would bring. I walked out to my car to unload boxed milk and cereal–subsidies for our weekend pantry for local schoolchildren. As I handed over boxes to a friend and turned back to my car, I felt an electric pulse. Something coming back to life. My faith is a bulb buried deep in the soil of heredity, tradition, and routine. Doing something to ease the hardship of another and with people I care about is the bridge spanning where I have been and where I want to go.
Train travel is my soul’s preferred mode of transport–faster than a car, slower than a plane. My soul can see wide-open vistas, nap, and read and think. For those around me who want to move fast and get on with things, my painstaking approach to life and grief and everything must seem excessive, but I know it’s the right avenue for me. The past two years have etched new patterns, new awarenesses on my heart. I have to switch my orientation from pleasing others to honoring self.