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 …
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.
EARLY LOVE IN THREE PARTS I. TENTATIVELY I pay attention to her still, quiet waters. They can surprise when something of her emerges – free – and There I am on the water’s edge, toes dipped, testing the cool; contemplative, dreamy, unsuspecting, and Suddenly, splash! I’m wet and bothered, shivering for cover, while every nerve is turned ON, but I question my courage, readiness, worthiness; wondering what turbulence I might bring to her peaceful pools, and do her waters want to be stirred? Are they beckoning me to dive, to plunge, into her obscured mysteries? And what if I perish on the rocks below? Only one way to know: GET. IN. Her waters glisten, sparkle, taunt, and 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? II. STICKING MY NECK OUT 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, laser-focused, 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. III. FROM FALLING TO BEING 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]