I’m getting later and later with this…
I have to say, I’m sick of my house. Tired of the whole thing, including cooking. Never have I been so happy as to have room to walk around outside in my “yard”. That said, the other day I was outside, and a text came through from my neighbor. She was very concerned as to why Walt and I were outside.
For the record, we were checking on our apple and fruit tree orchards, feeding our chickens, and doing all the things that need done. Those things don’t stop because of a pandemic. I felt kind of strange when she asked though, because as the texts went on, she shared her concerns that Walt and I weren’t following the rules or distancing ourselves. Anyone who knows me, should already see where this was going – I value my privacy, and I don’t like having to explain myself, or defend my choices. I haven’t left my gate since Sunday of last week – and that was only to go and pick up groceries to last for several weeks. It was an awkward conversation that I managed to keep friendly, and oddly – not long after that text exchange, I saw her husband outside, working hard to clear a dead tree that had fallen during a winter storm.
Meanwhile, the news is enough to drive my anxiety to new, dizzying heights. I’ve found that I can only listen for a short time, before needing to change the channel or find a distraction. It is hard to imagine our world ever returning to normal. The longer it goes on, the more I wonder what “normal” may look like when the time comes.
I find a bit of comfort in the small things, when I stop and think about it. Music still works, thank goodness. The internet helps me remember that there ARE other people here besides my family. Being able to sit for five minutes and do something other than watch the news is good…but don’t ask if I’ve taken any time to practice my clarinet lately. I don’t know why, but I don’t have the heart to even pick it up right now. I’ll get there (probably when I find out we’re rehearsing again and realize I’m screwed unless I buckle down…) but at this moment, I don’t know what is wrong with me. As I am writing this, I just got another email from my band, reminding us that rehearsal is cancelled tonight. As I read the email, all I felt was sadness. I miss playing, and picking up the instrument to play on my own just isn’t the same. I dearly, dearly loved being in a band again. There’s not any way I can explain it other than to compare it to seeing Duran Duran in 2001.
That night, which now that I think about it was 19 years ago this month, I felt myself come alive. That show reminded me of something I’d misplaced, yet didn’t know was missing until I had it again. That’s exactly how I feel about band. The sting I currently feel is particularly pointed because we were getting very good. We had a thriving clarinet section for the first time in many years (or so I’m told). I knew exactly how to play the pieces we were given, and my confidence was growing each week. Until of course, it all came to an abrupt end.
Just as Duran Duran has concerts scheduled for the coming weeks and months, I do too. My community band is currently set to play a concert on Mothers Day, and we have an entire summer of weekly (yes, weekly) concerts-in-the-park coming up. I was looking forward to them. I liked the challenge of perfecting an entirely different two hour concert of music each week. So to have all of those things just stop….well, it’s a bit much. Every single one of us has lives that, for a large part, came to an immediate stop. There’s no reboot button in sight.
Overall, it is hard to look away. Sometimes I want to stop reading and watching the news – and I do stop – but inevitably after a day or two, I feel like the whole world could have disintegrated and I wouldn’t know, so I check again. Sadly, the news is never better. I can hardly wait until its good news. Will it ever be good news again? I know that at some point, it has to be. Yet sometimes, in those quiet moments at 2 am where everyone but the worriers are sleeping, I wonder.
I think it’s normal, under these circumstances, to have bad days. Maybe this is one of mine. I’m not sure. I just know I’m very, very tired. Not sick, mind you – but tired.