I wonder when, and how, we will forget this.
The best time is cleaning. I can’t settle enough to read yet, but I can write, virtual visit, cook, and clean. Another way I was unwittingly prepared for this is that since I’ve been in grad school, I never eat out unless it’s a social occasion.
And I’m an introvert. Although I get lonely, and I need human chat time, last night I began to feel a pull to go inside. Cloistered or hermited monastics are still (in much smaller numbers) doing what they did 2,000 years ago.
It’s, like, not safe for amateurs, but it can be done, and it has been done.
There is possibility for some of us to use this time as a spiritual retreat, as well as a physical one.
After a day or so at my favorite monastery (okay, the only monastery I’ve ever been to), my day becomes a rhythm of reading, taking notes, drawing, yoga, prayer, meals.
At first, it’s always a little weird and scary, but once I open up into it, I never want to leave.
Well. I only want to leave to go out dancing, to swear like a sailor, to drink a little too much, to go on a long journey. Without those interests, I might be a nun.
The thinking brain resists this kind of relaxing. My most anxious time is when I have time to relax. I wonder if the hardest part of this will be leaving the house again, in a normal way. I likely will most need meds at that point. Maybe I should be doing neighborhood walks to prevent that?
Huh. Who knows?
I’m waiting for the raccoons to really come out and do their thing. I am hopeful they will form a doo-wop group. The squirrels I would like to hear hip hop from.
I frequently have trouble getting out of bed, transitioning from snuggle sleep time to awake time. I use my phone for a while when I first wake up. I used to fall back asleep after that, but now the phone amps me up a lot more.
What I’m saying is that the pandemic is a great preventative measure for depression. I know that getting up to have coffee is a must. I don’t have the luxury of not taking care of myself right now. It’s temporary, and I know I could have lots of help and support if I needed it. But right now my brain is like, behave. I know you can’t do it forever, but behave.
So many strange things this has made time for, made space for. I listen to services offered by a priest who used to be at my church. We didn’t really know each other then. It is a shot of normalcy, comfort, to hear a voice that I know from the past, doing church. Hello! Thank you!
We don’t have eucharist at home, of course. But wait!
I do have bread and wine.
I’m totally down for casting the spells in front of my fat cat Tybalt.
He will probably watch.
Miranda will want to watch because she likes to eat/chew/explore bread.
The idea that all things are authorized actually fits in quite well with my world view. Yes, I was always like this, my parents will assure you.
I’m happy to have my books here. I put books on the mantle for the first time. I don’t know why that didn’t occur to me earlier. Now I have the books that feel most solid to me lined up:
I’m moving Wassily Kandinsky’s Concerning the Spiritual in Art to the mantle.
“All means are sacred which are called for by the inner need. All means are sinful which obscure the inner need.”
We are all artists of our own lives. We all have to find means to make them.
Previous to this, the birds I noticed most were the hawks. Their claws curl around the aluminum edge of a sign that says SPEED LIMIT 70. I only see them for a second, at 70 miles an hour. They perch up there like they are waiting for a car to pick up, carry to a nest, and dismember.
I will now spend more time on a robin who hops on the roof of the first floor. He lands and stay still as a toy. The cat and I watch, on our bellies, on the bed, waiting for him to move and show he is real.
Image: Hawk Tied to a Perch, Ryuryukyo Shinsai, Edo Period, Metropolitan Museum of Art.