Title above from “Beware of Darkness,” one of the songs that accompanied me yesterday on my walk. It was one of those iTunes shuffle days that seemed of divine intervention. In the case of this title, I love the song, it reminds me very much of a particular period in my life, and its namesake album includes, “My Sweet Lord”—which was charting at number one on the day I was born. The other working title for this post was, “Make one dream come true, you only live twice”—which played as I made the left at the fork.
Whenever I notice a fork in the road I think not necessarily of Robert Frost, or even Yogi Berra, but of that iconic film quote,
That’s from “The Muppet Movie,” of course.
Anyway. I did not expect to be writing this post at 5AM and I will go back in for another hour of sleep.
This pandemic is bringing out the best and the worst in us, sometimes both in a day. So many of you have expressed over the past 9 weeks that you are not doing everything you should be doing, or are falling into self-destructive mindsets, or are “losing it,” and so on. I relate to all of that. So this is just a brief missive to urge you to be kind to yourselves.
There are no should’s right now other than to wash your hands, wear a mask in public, stay home if you can or if you are sick, and practice social distancing. The rest of it—accomplish this, quit that, stick with this, always do that—no. Please, cut yourself, and the rest of the world, more slack than you ever imagined possible. This is unlike any other time in our lives where the word “should” might come into play (and I personally avoid that word as much as possible.) This is not a staycation, or a holiday break, or a weather-induced need to stay at home. This is not sabbatical, or a long weekend. This is a global fucking pandemic, whose magnitude and personal impact change by the hour.
So please, friends, be gentle with yourselves and with your loved ones. And when you slip up on either front, because you probably will, please do NOT punish yourselves. We have never been through anything remotely like this, no matter what horrors we’ve been through. Perhaps the ultimate outcome of all of this will be far less devastating for you personally than other periods you’ve been through. Perhaps the worst of this will be feeling cooped up and isolated and panicky at times … and those are absolutely real challenges in and of themselves. The thing is, we don’t know the outcome and we really only have the present and some thoughtful planning of the immediate future. Remember that. One breath at a time, one step at a time. That’s all we can do and we’re in it together, no matter how different our circumstances or how far apart our homes.
Love to you. And now I’m going to attempt to sleep the hour before the dog wakes up.