I just didn’t feel like writing. That hasn’t happened in 10 years. I thought that would happen and feared it might if I were depressed. But, I’m not depressed. I just didn’t feel like it. Well, maybe there’s a little more to it than that.
Each morning since Labor Day I have thought about writing but I just didn’t sit down at my new special sacred writing post. This is the longest lapse I’ve had in almost 12 years since launching BA50.
I didn’t write because I felt too jumpy. I thought I’d mastered the news avoidance by putting my cell phone in the other room at night since June. But, this month it came back to bed with me and midnight obsessive cell phone checking got me out of whack.
Since Labor Day, because my kids live on the west coast, I became obsessed with reading the air quality charts, sometimes every few hours. At risk of spreading my obsession here is the link to check on air quality. https://www.airnow.gov/
Once I understood what the colors meant there was no turning back. Seattle had entered the purple zone which was one color away from fully toxic. My poor kids lived with the door closed, trapped inside. I know they weren’t the only ones but that didn’t make me feel any better. Apparently the Portland and the California smoke had landed in Seattle and didn’t budge. The stories poured in from friends all over the West Coast and the pandemic took a back seat to air quality in the midnight hours.
And then of course once the air cleared in Seattle and LA, but sadly not everywhere, RBG died and I became obsessed with watching and listening to stories and podcasts about her.
The feelings of loss have been huge this month. The loss of freedom to travel, to breathe, to feel that my vote will be counted, the civil unrest and the death of RBG who represented what I care about most on the Supreme Court suddenly left me paralyzed.
But, here’s some irony. The doomsday dark cloud lifted from my morning when I least expected it. Last Friday, September 25th, would have been my Mom’s 88th birthday and as I sat with her photos, videos and memories all day, something shifted. It was the first time in years I wouldn’t be with her on her birthday.
So I brought her in. As I sat with her I began to focus on the really good stuff, you know the gratitude stuff. I thought how lucky it was that she passed last January before the Pandemic. I thought about how she would have loved hearing what everyone had to say at her funeral. Seeing all her grandkids there and her children and friends and the huge Shiva my sisters and I hosted where people came from all over to eat too many tuna fish sandwiches and cookies and tell stories about her. She would have loved the leftovers.
She loved a celebration, a gathering, she loved when family came together and she loved her birthday. So on her birthday, September 25th, I cancelled my afternoon of activities and cleared my thoughts and made the space to think about all of this.
I thought about how my mom powered through sadness with distraction. How she didn’t belabor feeling low and in fact created distractions to avoid those feelings. And, I thought about denial and how it served her. Pushing the bad stuff away so she could get the most out of her days worked really well for her. It helped her to forgive, almost everyone, although there were a few that never were able to be forgiven….EVER!
And, sitting with Mom on her birthday, gave me an incredible lift. And I could truly feel the creative juices begin to flow again and the desire to sit down and write and finish a piece. So, here I am back at it, doing what I love most.
And, the timing seems appropriate. After all, at sundown, according to tradition, today we begin to celebrate Yom Kippur which is said to be the day that God decides each person’s fate, so Jews are encouraged to make amends and ask forgiveness for sins committed during the past year. The holiday is observed with a 25-hour fast and a special religious service. Today is the day of Remembrance.
And that just feels right at this time. This feels like the right time to clear away the webs of chaos and fear and open up to new energy and hope and begin again. Good to be back!