It’s 2:32 AM and, obviously, since I’m writing this, I can’t sleep. My mind is racing, filled with all the news I’ve absorbed, the fact that my oldest daughter is now stranded in New Zealand, the friends I Zoomed with on one coast for happy hour, the stupid Facebook fight I had with another on the other coast about our very different views on how serious this thing is. And, oh yeah, there were the posts by friends about lost jobs, and worse, their infected friends who have died or are fighting for their lives.
People keep saying, “You’re a writer—you should write about this.” But something has me stalled in park. Nothing comes, no words of beauty, gratitude, solace, mourning or angst. So then I think, maybe I could write around it, create a pretty-worded bit of fiction that will explore this new paradigm from a distance and “make my experience your experience,” some evergreen piece that will have this “once upon a time” timelessness.
But I can’t. I’m even having a hard time writing about not being able to write about it. I haven’t been able to wrap my head around it yet, like I couldn’t wrap my head around early motherhood or 9-11 at first, events and time periods that shook me like a snow globe and changed me permanently on a fundamental level. I can’t really write something artful or pretty, because gagillions of plastic snow bits are swirling around me so fast I can’t see anything clearly, and if I try to grasp them or push them aside, they only seem to multiply and swirl faster.
I wish I had answers, or at least some deep philosophical insights to share. But I’m fresh out. So for now, like everyone else, I’ll sit, socially distant at home, and wait, watching to see what happens when the plastic snow settles, and go from there.