Well, I had a decent run of writing daily … but I realize that is not realistic. So I’m officially taking the pressure of myself and committing instead to writing regularly. Thank you, B, for inspiring me to dust this thing off at all.
Last week my friend and teacher Jamie Leonhart joined our Action & Empathy meet-up and gave us breathing lessons. I’ve never been a great breather; like so many people, I hold my breath when I’m stressed. Jamie walked us through a very simple and extremely powerful breathing exercise, and I’ve practiced it every day since.
This very weird time period is reminding me of the importance of the lessons and advice I’ve put off for years, about breathing, about finding balance, about listening closely and responding judiciously. And the piece of advice that dominates everything, the one my mom offered many moons ago: never go to bed after an argument without apologizing. I strive for that one, even if it’s “I’m sorry you reacted that way to my innocuous question,” but more often than not it’s something much bigger than that.
If you or someone you love is still not grasping the fact that nothing is sure, that we may never get a chance to say, “I’m sorry—I didn’t mean that,” that every interaction we have with a person may well be our last with them, then I hope I can persuade you, or you them, otherwise. What a shame it would be to emerge from this pandemic with regret.
I am determined not to, and so though friends and loved ones may lash out from time to time, as I have, within the allowance for humanness there is a newly fundamental reset button. We are all dealing as best we can in the moment with the most outrageous, unpredictable, and terrifying situation we’ve ever been in.
I have so much more to say and I need to unwind and get some rest. On this long weekend, I’m feeling unmoored. I’m feeling bereft in a way I’ve made myself too busy to acknowledge for several weeks. I’m having a hard time, but not an impossible one. I am grateful to my friends and loved ones for the texts, emails, messages, FaceTimes, Zooms, and to one new friend, for the socially distanced walks.
We are in this together, despite time and distance.