Going forward

One thing about this pandemic I’ve experienced I didn’t expect: apathy.

The first few months of working at home were a time of settling in, to discovering how much I enjoy working from home and how much of daily life I’ve been missing out on spending so much of my day and so many of my days in an office — albeit a nice office with a good view and a love seat and books. It felt like we were all holding our collective breath. So quiet.

Then there was a second period of settling in, during which we all realized this new life was going to be normal for a longer while. I felt less afraid and more afraid both at the same time. We still knew so little about the coronavirus, but I felt that the precautions I was taking would keep me safe and so I was less afraid. But more afraid because by late summer, most of us knew multiple people who’d gotten covid and usually someone who’d died from it or who was hospitalized.

It was somewhere in there that I struggled with apathy. I wasn’t reading as much as I normally read. Ironic. I had more time to read and fewer distractions and yet found myself sitting on the patio or by the fire pit and just staring.

I struggled with writer’s block. I wrote some things I’m proud of here and there but my overall output has not been great. Like with the reading, I’d find myself in front of my computer, but watching the bird feeders or just sitting while the room darkened around me.

We also had a family drama unfolding into a tragedy, the timeline of which exactly coincided with the pandemic safety measures. I’ll write about that another time.

But one thing I wanted to do with this space on my web site was to share things. Pictures, other people’s writing, my own random thoughts, interviews with writers, musicians, visual artists, things that caught my attention. And I’ve been sadly remiss in all this.

So today I’m going to post a poem by Marlin M. Jenkins that appeared in Split Lip Magazine on March 14, 2021. I read the poem because of its title. It’s exactly the right length to pull a reader into the monotony and the frustration of navigating health care that tries to address a problem — in this case, expressed thoughts of self-harm — that doesn’t quite address the problem, and in some ways, makes it worse. I’ve never been in this position, but I think many of us have at least experienced suicidal ideation, which is a different thing from being suicidal. To me, it’s something a person should be able to talk about. Anyway, here’s a link to the poem. Split Lip Magazine is a fantastic journal. Check out the whole issue.


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