Yesterday started smoothly. The engine of the day ran flawlessly through morning’s arms.
Until afternoon showed her multiple tattoos and such sadness struck the match of hopelessness.
What happened? I fell in the abyss of statistics once again. Many of you know that I’m pulled by stats. They fascinate, they comfort, they appear to appease some of my inner children. They fueled my career in accounting and numbers. They balance between my creative muse and secure grounding. It’s hard to explain.
I’m often bewitched by stats until they become Too Much. Then, sometimes, on an afternoon like yesterday, it’s hard to pull out of the pit. Do any of you experience this in other ways? Such as when you try to eat just one blue chip? The next thing you know you’re eating half a bag. Or when you want to watch just a little Netflix? Next thing you know you’re binging incessantly.
I was cruising around in coronavirus stats yesterday afternoon, as usual these days. When suddenly the crushing weight of all those numbers and cases and deaths just flattened me. Then utter gray hopeless reared its head and threw me out of the saddle and onto hard rocky ground.
Yesterday, just yesterday mind you, 246,761 people tested positive with coronavirus in the United States yesterday. That’s people just like you and me. Not random statistical numbers. Real folks with warts and sweet hearts and frustrated emotions who are making breakfast this morning without symptoms–or perhaps going to the hospital–or feeling like they have a mild case of the flu–or struggling to breathe.
Over three thousand people died yesterday. Over three thousand! That’s people just like you and me. Grandmas and grandpas. Moms and dads. Even children. People gasping for breath. People saying goodbye to this world of scrambled eggs, birch trees, hot peppers, Christmas carols. No more, no more, no more.
(Of course some of us know or sense or feel that their spirit will never really die, that many or all of them are engulfed in love and light and absolute peace, that death is actually a beginning along with an ending. Please see this blog post if you need some hope in that department.)
But I believe in feeling all of it. The hope and hopelessness. The human and the transcendent. And yesterday I just let the wash of this never-ending nine month ordeal pour over me. So done with it, so done with it, the exhausted inner one whimpered.
So done with staying home. So done with gray skies. So done with counting covid statistics. So done with not seeing loved ones. So done with not hugging friends. So done with six feet distances. So done with masks. So done with bad news. So done with not traveling. So done with Zoom and Facetime and phone calls substituting for being together.
Done, done, done! the inner mutiny choir sang with a frustrated and annoyed Captain Hook voice.
Afternoon winged its gray feathers toward night, and the mutinous chorus finished its song.
I started out the window into pitch black.
And the Holy pulled me out of this self-made abyss once again. Out, out, out, she whispered. You can do this. You can be here now with your frustration and big heart and loving hands. I need you, I need all of you, can you see me once again?
I stared at the invisible Holy and said yes. Will put on my mask this weekend when we go to town. Will wear my metaphorical prayer shawl as I walk through the valley of the shadow of this coronavirus visitor. Will keep a six foot distance to do my part in protecting the vulnerable among us. Will continue to kindle this heart with compassion and forgiveness and beauty and nature and friendship and words. Will even turn away from stats for awhile, yes sir, time to pause that feedback loop, with a little help from the Holy.
Amen, dear reader. Anyone else feeling done, done, done these days? And how do you find your way back to the flame of hope?
**Or never mind if you don’t feel like rekindling any flame of hope right now. This is a safe spot to whimper or complain. Or just share what you’re done with. The Holy doesn’t always want our cheerful faces. He wants us just where we are. Right here. Now. This is how it is. Until it isn’t. **
Day 56 of a seventy-five day journey to connect more deeply with God, Spirit, Holy, Love…to explore “What the Heart Knows” during the waning days of 2020.