It has been several months since I’ve posted, preceded by months of irregular scribblings. The year 2020 was a shocker and downer for so many of us, and I was too exhausted from it all to even muster the words.

I was grieving.

With the election last November I began to feel some hope. I stopped waking up in a sweat, wondering what new atrocity would greet me on MSNBC. Then the January 6th attack on the capitol happened and the fear and anxiety came back. I got both my Covid vaccines and life started to open up again. I relished hugging my friends. I socialized, unmasked, in groups of other fully vaccinated people. But enormous swaths of the country seem to believe Covid is “over” or never believed Covid was real, and now the Delta variant is running amok in communities where vaccination rates are low.

There are these glimmers of light. Short-lived and weak.

That being said, there is always hope, and although “A New Normal” is a blog about loss and grief, it is also about thriving after surviving, about seeing beauty, about finding love – even in the aftermath of much sadness and suffering.

At the age of 63, after a hellish decade of losing my son to suicide, battling anal cancer, watching my baby sister succumb to ALS, witnessing my mother’s battle with breast cancer, surviving “he who shall not be named” (aka #45), being an extrovert during the Covid shutdown, worrying about our global climate crisis, avoiding arrest during the continuing and infuriating tragedy of racism in my country, fretting about the future of democracy …

I am newly in love!

If one is patient and never gives up on the possibility of a positive future – good things do happen after bad!

Here’s to new love, which can appear – unbidden and unexpected – in the middle of the “full catastrophe” which is Real Life. And here’s a little poetry in new love’s honor.


I pay attention to
her still, quiet waters.
They can surprise 
when something of her
emerges – free – 

There I am on the water’s edge,
toes dipped, 
testing the cool; 
contemplative, dreamy, 

Suddenly, splash! I’m
wet and bothered,
shivering for cover,
while every nerve
is turned ON, 

I question my courage,
readiness, worthiness;
wondering what turbulence
I might bring 
to her peaceful pools, 

do her waters 
want to be stirred?
Are they beckoning me
to dive, to plunge,
into her obscured mysteries? 

what if I perish 
on the rocks below?
Only one way to know:
GET. IN. Her waters
glisten, sparkle, taunt, 

worst case scenario: 
I go under and drown.
But oh! The Grace,
the fluid dance
that precedes my fate!

Which is what exactly? 
Sink or swim? Breathe or don't?
Do I stop? Or step
beyond comfort’s edge
into the wondrous depths
of her? with her? 

The neck was designed
to be stuck out.
Its thinned perfection
between head and heart,
a tempting target
for Fate’s fondness
to inflict suffering 
upon the brave ones
who allow faith 
to launch their leap.
Everyone warns,
“The pain, the pain!
It will strike again!”

     (And seriously, who the hell needs that?)

But the delicate sound
of her in-breath, in-gasp
as lips zero in,
as eyes slowly shut,
as hands grope and clasp - 
a heart connection
takes its new shape.
This is the prize,
what makes the risk worthy,
and turns our attention,
me on her, her on me.

The warnings become
white noise. Who cares?
These juicy beginnings 
are miraculous madness;
the amusement park quality
of love as it starts.
All pleasure, all play, 
all glee, all “Whee!” 
all day, endless nights,
until we lose sight –
if we ever do –
of what made it feel right. 

“Here is my neck,”
I say unequivocally,
as I stand before her 
clothed in nothing 
but vulnerability.
So consider this well -
I remind her (and me) -
It’s the journey, my love. 
The Journey.

It’s the difference between the exhilaration of trapezing without a net,
versus the steadiness of landing on two feet knowing you’re safely home; 

The distinction between unveiling countless wonders about her,
and then learning a part of her shadow self, but not being deterred;

It’s the border that separates the wish-rich fantasy of "You & Me" 
from the solid, grounded reality of "We";

First one, then the other crosses boldly,
from falling to being in love - a new, shared territory. 

[copyright 2021 Celenia Delsol]


  1. I am thrilled to see you’re back! I’ve missed your wisdom and tongue-in-cheek humor! Welcome back!

    this is so beautiful and I am so very happy for you.

    Yes, 2020 was terribly taxing, to say the least. I have not been blogging much. I noticed many of my fellow bloggers were writing less often as usual throughout the year. It’s been an exhausting year. We have to hang onto whatever bits of light and hope that are available. I do see people here behaving as if the pandemic is a thing of the past and I worry about the new variants and the fact that not everyone has been vaccinated, especially in poverty-stricken nations. I don’t think we can fully relax until the whole world has been inoculated. Hubby and I have both had our 2nd shots, which makes me feel better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The whole “Covid is over” mentality makes me nuts, but some folks are either in denial, or buying the propaganda. Those of us still willing to be critical thinkers must prevail!
      I’m glad you and hubby are fully vaccinated and somehow surviving the heat of this summer so far north! I used to be such a fan of the heat; I would douse myself in baby oil and fry. No way I’m even contemplating such behavior. My frying days are over.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, attitudes toward “getting back to normal” make me crazy too. It’s not like the “normal” days pre-pandemic were great, and commercialism is so bad for the environment. All I can do is shake my head at all the deniers of reality.

        Yes, we are surviving the heat. Living so far North I was surprised when this city was the hot spot in the country a couple of times. It’s still hot but at least it’s cooling off at night now.

        Wishing you a wonderful weekend. It is good to have you back. You were missed.


  2. I’m delighted to hear of your new love, Celenia… delighted.
    Thank you for sharing your heart, so eloquently as always. Your poem is beautiful. This line especially mirrored my own trepidation as I moved into this fascinating and magical land called love.

    The neck was designed
    to be stuck out.
    Its thinned perfection
    between head and heart…

    My head had to shut up long enough for me to listen to my heart. My heart had a lot to say and was joyously grateful to be heard! I bravely stuck my neck out because of it. I’m forever grateful I was willing and found the bravery. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to experience a love so full and deep and grand. I can’t imagine my life without my Love now!
    Welcome to Love Land! So happy for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad you are back. I understand your absence, as I have had difficulties and losses of my own to grieve. But we can come back to life, to happiness as you have shown. Mazel Tov.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coming back to life may take a long while after difficulties and losses, but LIFE wants SO much to be its fullest and biggest self. I find people are eventually willing – even if they take tiny, incremental steps over many years – to allow Life (and love) to show up for them again. It’s kind of miraculous and breath-taking.


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