Just a thought… If you are feeling helpless, help someone. [Aung San Suu Kyi]
My friend, I never thought I’d say this, but I think I’m running out of things to write about. I’ve spent more time looking at a blank screen than I ever did when I was creating Mourning Has Broken and this is the first time in the 17 years of doing this that I’m struggling.
The past several months have been emotionally exhausting – and I’m not DOING anything, for crying out loud! How my heart goes out to those who are still treating sick patients or awaiting the recovery of loved ones and wondering when their own lives are going to return to normal.
As the shot in the frame has pulled back to include, not only the COVID-19 pandemic and everything it has wrought, but the seismic shift that is taking place around the world for the Black Lives Matter movement and the cries for change in the way people are being treated by some of those who are supposed to serve and protect – 2020 has been a year that none of us will forget: a year of challenge and change.
When I began to write on a daily basis this spring (having cut back to twice a week when I resumed writing after rehab last year), it was out of a need I had to be a helper, in the tiniest way possible. I wanted to be there with you and have you there with me, when each of us was feeling so alone and adrift.
Where are we now? It feels as if we have moved into whatever stage this is of the movie Jaws where the shark appears to have moved out to sea, but hasn’t left the area yet for sure. People are asking, “Do we go back in the water?” Do we shut down the beach and say, “See you next year,” or do we just say that we need to swim and take our chances because life is too short to live in fear? That’s where people are now, it seems.
Wearing a mask feels as if you’re making some kind of a statement. Well, here it is: I care enough about your health when we’re in close proximity that I wouldn’t want to risk infecting you! I don’t know when this feeling will ease, even on an island and in a province that has fared so well, especially of late. But until then, I will continue to wear my mask. I also happen to be saving money on lipstick, so there’s that.
I thank you for coming here every day, and offering your perspective in return (mostly on Facebook). We’ve encouraged each other, we’ve become more aware of things that we took for granted in, oh, so many ways, and we’ve seen how change can come about if we stay apart and stay safe for the greater good, or gather together, carefully, peacefully, to let our voices be heard.
Not all of the loudest people deserve a voice. Sometimes the emptiest barrel makes the most noise. But 2020 – for the absolute hurricane of hardship and heartache that blew in with it – can also be a moment of awakening for us all.
I’ll let you decide to what.