Neither Brad nor I have felt like writing lately. The current situation has caused so much sadness, uncertainty and anxiety; words have been displaced by horrific images, disturbed imaginings. Uncomfortable questions loop through my mind: What is it like to die in an explosion of jet fuel? What is it like to hear a building collapse around you? What is it like to call your husband on a cell phone to say good bye? I feel guilty having these thoughts, like I’m gawking at a car wreck. I can’t stop them, though.
Everything I attempt to write or say or think seems trivial and self-centered. Stupid to be worrying about whether we should go ahead with our remodel, whether we should go back to work, whether Henry is going to bite me, whether I get to the gym or not, whether Brad and I misunderstand each other over and over. We’re lucky we have each other to misunderstand today.
Yet even in these extraordinary times, life continues with all of its frustrations. There are still doctor appointments to rush off to, bills to be paid, weeds, peeling paint. How do I get Henry to stop biting me? How do I parent him when I feel confused and sad and need time alone? I’ve written the last two paragraphs in several 30 second increments; Henry keeps interrupting with desperate screeches. There is no time alone, no time to process anything; it seems callous to feel frustrated about it, yet I do.
And life continues with all of its joys. Henry’s vitamin levels are normal; he probably won’t have another blood draw until the spring; he climbs stairs and says “da da” and honks Brad’s nose while Brad is sleeping. He makes his own toys out of pots and pans; he points out at the world with both index fingers at once, as if he can’t get enough.
We’ll keep muddling through.