Flattening the curve of my heart

“I don’t think I’m handling this very well,” I said to my husband yesterday.

“This,” of course, being the great virus calamity that is before us all.

Oh, I guffaw with everyone else at all the memes. I’m a nurse, after all. An expert at inappropriate and irreverent humor.

 

But lately most nights, around 3 a.m., my eyes pop open and I feel a great dark shadow looming over me, reminding me that this is not a normal night. Tomorrow will not be a normal day. There well be no more normal days again, as we knew them.

 

I don’t want to feel this way. I want to embrace the Pollyanna’s of poets and sages, or sing praise music, or trust the words of other writers and theologians telling us to look for the silver linings in all of this. 

 

Maybe that time will come for me. 

 

But for now, I got nothin’.

 

For now,

this all really sucks. 

There. 

I said it. 

I’ve been telling myself to write blog posts all week, posts to uplift and encourage and bring hope to the midst of this awful ache. That is my mantra as a writer, after all. Words of hope in the midst of the hard.

But I don’t have any words like that in me right now. Even when I dig deep, I can’t find them.

I didn’t want to write a blog post like this, but then I started thinking, what if everyone else really feels like this, too? What if the people writing good and pleasant and hopeful words are making it up, and underneath we all really just feel like this all really sucks?

My cousin who is the best pastor I know (even though he’s never had a traditional pulpit) told me to read a Psalm for a bit of comfort. Good stuff, the Psalms.

But right now, I’m feeling a little more like Lamentations. 

How deserted lies the city,
    once so full of people!

Lamentations 1:1

(The book goes downhill from there.)

 

It’s not in my nature to write about despair without offering the balance of hope. But today, I can’t help it. Any maybe someone else needs to hear that. 

Maybe someone else needs to know that it’s okay if you are mad about moving that wedding you’ve been planning for a year, or not walking across that stage at your college in May, or losing your retirement fund when you’re 64 1/2, or losing your business just when you were on the verge of making a profit for the first time. 

Maybe someone else needs to know it’s okay to feel overwhelmed and helpless that the schools are closed and you have no child care and you can’t call off work another time.

Maybe someone else needs to know it’s okay if you’re feeling constantly on the verge of a panic attack because you’re a nurse like me or a physician or an EMT, and based on the constant updates at work, PPE and Purel make us feel like we’re wielding wet noodles at The Terminator. 

Maybe someone else needs to know it’s alright to be furious about it all. 

I’m sorry I don’t have much more to say than this today. 

I tried a little self-care the last couple of days by bringing out some paint and canvases. My own little wine and canvas party.

I painted a couple of barns. 

And when I looked up, the sun was setting. 

Fire orange and fuchsia pink right outside my back door. 

The sun seems angry, too. 

blessed

let it not be

thought that from the damage done

in youth rises the irreversible melancholy of despair

for the Lord is my rock

and my salvation

blessed is he who comes

and many are the angels who encamp

around the innocent who live

on and beyond the hard,

always toward the goal

of

peace

small

Strongholds are hard,

risk required

to break the generations

of shame declaring the healing worse

than the barbed wire chains of pride

encircling the light-bearers like hawks

searching for the small, burrow-ers

making their way among the vines and weeds

towards truth.