“Mommy, why do you cry so much?”

That’s the quote I remember most from this week.

I was trying so hard to step up for my students. I kept spending hours creating materials and assignments, then realizing I had done everything wrong and having to start over. I spent almost an entire day trying to figure out how to use google hangouts. I also created usernames and passwords for countless websites, trying to learn everything at once.

I felt an enormous amount of work pressure, and have been asking myself hard questions about if it’s being put on me, or if it’s pressure I’m actually putting on myself.

At the same time, I’m managing Simon’s learning, cringing with the fear that he will lose half a year of learning, and cringing more at all the video games he has been logging hours on, as a way to connect with his friends. And feeling the pain and sadness and grief of so much societal loss, and fearing personal loss, too.

Today is day 8 of 14 days of quarantine. It’s Saturday, and I slept until 9, instead of waking up at 6:15, as on weekdays. After breakfast, I did yoga practice for nearly two hours while Simon chatted online and played video games with friends.

Simon and I tried to do the online zoom version of the NYC Sweat Your Prayers 5Rhythms class, but by the time we logged on the class was already wrapping up. Instead, I put on a wave I’d played a few days before. Simon was half-hearted at first, feeling pulled by his video games and friend chats, but we started a dancing game of throwing a shirt at each other and trying to dodge it, and he managed to stay engaged throughout the wave.

Living 24-7 in quarantine in the apartment attached to my parents’ house that was created for my grandparents has been tender. I have always had hesitant excursions to this place, sitting to talk at length with my grandmother when she was frail and with limited mobility, crossing through to retrieve something from the refrigerator when the main house was full and we were cooking for a holiday. Most of life seemed to happen next door, at my parents’ though.

Now, as we are in quarantine, I have a whole new perspective. It is a beautifully designed four-room apartment that is easy to keep clean, and I am grateful for how it has held us. I feel close to my grandmother, my grandfather, and also to my brother, who lived here for a period. And though it hasn’t always been easy, I’ve been grateful for the time with my son, who will enter the teen years soon.

In terms of dream analysis, previously unused rooms now put to use represent finding new layers of consciousness, and new layers of potential.

The world is shifting.

We are in a parenthesis.

It is a period of chaos, fear, and reckoning. As painful as it is, especially for those grieving personal losses, it is also a time of great possibility. A time when we can remember what really matters, when we can collaborate on a new vision, one in which the earth is revered as sacred, where presence is valued above achievement, and where we can prioritize love and community as our greatest wealth.

March 28, Broad Brook, Connecticut

(Photo: dataisbeautiful on reddit)

 

 

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