Day 13, 14

E:
We are sinking into a kind of strange normalcy.  Fortunately, work has been busy, and I am especially grateful to have a kind of solid foundation – both in a sense of productivity as well as a connection to my people.  This week I have felt the strain of trying to do the right thing for all of us.  It’s hard to know what that is sometimes.  I have found myself wishing for someone else to be the grownup.  But these moments pass, and I fall back on the trust.  There were some difficult moments … there is a pull to make the right choice for our safety vs. honoring all the desires.  I want to take care of my family in the best way, and that is hard with all of the unknowns.  It’s especially tricky as we are a two-household family and there are different feelings about the way things should go that are arising.  When it is just the kids and I in our little bubble, things feel pretty simple. We deal with the emotions that arise, our basic needs, we cook awesome meals and take it moment to moment.  As more people come into the conversation, the more complicated it gets.  And also, I know that it is so important to honor all of these relationships. I will say that as a result, I believe our communication is at an all-time high, and I just have to trust that we are all speaking our minds.  We are all very vulnerable with one another.  In areas where there used to be fight, there is listening.  I even noticed this today in an online Zoom Town Council meeting.  No one knows anything and everyone admits it. There is humility.  Everyone wants to do the right thing.  This part is beautiful.  My lover is coming on Sunday.  He will have been isolating for over two weeks by that time.  I’m so looking forward to seeing him.  I also felt protective of the envelope that the kids and I have sealed ourselves into, and there is guilt that I get to see my person and they don’t.  Their emotional well-being is everything, and I know that there is tenderness right now. But again – we found our way to the most honest conversations and I am so proud of all of us. Mostly, there is just a lot of love (even the parts that hurt are based on all the love) and despite the vast unknowns, there is a tremendous amount of trust.  We have all decided that we need to take this moment to moment, and this is the most soft and real place to be.

M:
The last two days have gone up and down., I’ve been happy, then I overthink, then I feel sad. I feel like during this time, the happy things feel really happy but the sad things feel really sad. Luckily, I have had a lot of happy times. We have gone outside a lot and originally, I didn’t want to go outside at all, but now I’m so glad I get to go outside. Every day feels easier and more normal. Everyday I wonder how long this will go. I wonder what our lives will be like when this is done. Will we be able to socialize as well? Will we have all the same friends? This had never happened before to anyone in my life, so knowone can tell me what they think will happen and have it be the truth. No one actually knows how long this will go or how many people will die which is the disconcerting part. There’s no one that can tell me this will be okay because no one truly knows. I am both scared and excited for the future. It’s scary because everything could get much worse, but it’s exciting because the world will have healed itself and everything will change. Yesterday we stayed at home and today we went to Telluride. I feel like we’ve had the perfect amount of time staying inside and going outside. I would like to go to Telluride more so I can see my dad. It’s been a while since we stayed there and I miss it a lot, but I know we will eventually be back. My friends are basically always on the same page as me and that helps a lot cause I feel like we’re in this together.

M:
Monday
Today I got a giant blanket sweatshirt called the Comfy. It is super warm and cozy. I was also out on the trampoline for a while. We had no schoolwork because it is spring break. My sister came outside with me and we played a game we made up using the football. We then went to bed.
Tuesday
We woke up and left for telluride because we were going to see my dad. when we got up there we went on a hike. I was super happy that we got to see him. My grandma also came with us and we both brought our dogs. When we were leaving I wanted to hug my dad but couldn’t because of the virus. He  has been working and has been around people and he was not isolated. After telluride we went home and played football. we are having pasta for dinner tonight then we will go to bed.

The Weekend (Days 11 & 12)

E:
Old Things Healed, New Things Tried

On the hike, there is no hashing out
of how it used to be, there is just the river,
and the broken bridge rebuilt

downstream, only birds and the songs they make,
and the new green blades that push through
the detritus. Attention is the new ground

from which we will grow.  At home,
anything goes, the kids take risks
on blue cheese, banana pancakes, a new trick

on the trampoline.  We meet for virtual music
and linger, soft silences melodic, traded thoughts.
No point in filling the spaces with old stories,

time now to believe the black-capped
chickadee, the belt of Orion, to be a part
in a new kind of together.

M:
This weekend was the beginning day of spring break. I went on a lot of walks with my friends and my family. Before this virus, I didn’t walk this much, I mean I had my sports, but I didn’t take the time to be outside in the fresh air on my own. I didn’t know how much I liked walking. Usually when I hang out with people we go sit inside. I’ve gotten to walk all over town which feels so weird because there is no one in town. It feels like a ghost town. We drove by the school and usually when I take that drive I have this feeling of really not wanting to go, but now when I drive by all I want to do is go back. This is probably good because now I will really appreciate going to school. I want to be back in class talking to people and I want to be sitting at the lunch table with my friends. I heard about how the coronavirus numbers are going down in China and I know we can’t legally make everyone stay inside, but I wish we could follow their path a little and get rid of this virus. Our numbers are going up so much and I don’t understand why people aren’t staying inside because they feel like they don’t have to worry. People need to realize that just because they can’t get sick, their loved ones can. They need to be careful. It’s so hard to stay inside but we will have to much longer if people don’t start being aware. I want to enjoy my spring break and I am supposed to be with my friends but now I can’t. But, I have to remember to be grateful that I can still walk around with my friends because some people can’t even leave their houses. I am so lucky but I really miss my people. I know that this will end, but it’s hard for me to not know how long it will go. 

M:
THE WEEKEND
On Saturday we woke up and my mom taught a class. We had a skillet for breakfast and I played games with my friends. After that we went on a hike with my dad and  it was fun to see him. On the hike we played football. I also threw the ball for my dog and found a stick to throw for her in the river. After that I did some tricks on the trampoline and we watched a movie called 1917. We then went to bed because we were tired.
SUNDAY
Today we woke up and laid around the house in the morning. We didn’t do much today. after lunch we went on our daily hike and then came back. I played video games with my friends and went back out on the trampoline. I was sad because it was Sunday and on Monday we had to start doing our work from home again. Then I remembered it was spring break. My mom and I then watched a show and went to bed.

Day 10

 

E:
Various shades of light and dark,
greyscale and sometimes a rainbow,
the colors come so close together,
then move apart, one moment
a shadow, the next, a spark.  All
the sailors navigate alone on
the same sea, even the ones who
ride in the same boat.  We wave
to one another, then put our heads
down to prepare for the next swell,
our shoulders lean into the squall.
Rise and fall,  peak and trough, we
are all in varying stages of the surge
at any given moment, sometimes in sync,
sometimes discordant, we all hold on.
And hold on we do, and bow deep to
the ones who have not, as this journey
is also for them, and in this sharing,
a softness, a different kind of sea.

M:
Today was the same as most other days. I saw my friends then I watched American Horror Story. Even though these days all seem the same in terms of events, every day is different and special. I learn something new about who I am all the time and I unknowingly teach myself new ways to cope with this situation by the hour. I miss being with everyone and I know I say that a lot but I’ve never missed my people more. I miss all of it. I miss passing by them in the hallway briefly making eye contact. I miss all of the things that I used to take advantage of. If I was given one wish I wouldn’t ask for unlimited money or superpowers, I would simply wish for the chance to hug someone. All I want is the support and comfort of a hug. My favorite thing in life has always been social interaction and now that’s the one thing that’s been taken away from me. I know everyone is in this situation which actually helps in some way because all of their wishes would be to hug and to laugh within six feet of each other. Knowing that we all have that  common longing makes me excited for when we are done with this because they will be showing as much love to me as I would be showing to them. We will all be 100% more grateful for the things we have. Everyday I ask myself why this had to happen. Why did this have to happen during the year that’s supposed to be one of the most social and exciting years of my life? Why couldn’t this have happened when I was in elementary school and I loved staying home and playing with my dinosaur toys? I’ve heard many people say that this is the most difficult thing they’ve ever lived through. That sentence is both sprising and not surprising at the same time. How could this possibly be so difficult if all we have to do is stay inside? That’s what I would have thought before all of this, but now that I’m in it I can see how this will probably be the most difficult and darkest part of my life. The time of quarantine will be really hard, but after we might be the happiest we’ve ever been and all of that darkness will hopefully fade away. 

M:
Today we woke up and had no school so I played games with my friends. We went on a short hike and had sushi for lunch. After that I jumped on the trampoline and then, we stayed up late talking to our friends and had roast beef and potatoes.

Day 9

E:
A Day of Sun

A day of sun,
there will be snow tomorrow,
just like a Colorado springtime.

We pick sage along the trail,
my son tells running stories
the entire time,

I have nothing to do
but listen with my whole body
as mountain bluebirds

sing the backdrop.
When I talk to my lover later,
there are sweet staring pauses,

I watch his face on a screen,
so close but not
for touching.

The children make dinner together
they are soft with one another.
I dream of listening to the guitar

of my dead music hero,
while my friend runs her fingers
through my hair in the grass.

M:
Day nine was very nice and relaxing. I watched American Horror Story for a lot of the day, then I cleaned out the baskets full of random stuff in my room. I hung out with E then at the end of the day, I cooked dinner with my mom and brother. It was a nice and calming day. I obviously miss my friends, but we have been going on walks every day and that really helps me stay connected to them. I know this virus isn’t going to go away soon so I know I need to stop hoping, but we can still be hopeful that everyone stays safe and we make it past this. I’m so excited for when this becomes a thing of the past and we’re all back to our normal lives. I know that a lot of people in the US are not taking this seriously and that’s why it’s spreading so fast. At first I was so mad that I had to stay away from my friends, but now I’m grateful that I’m in one of the families that made the right choice. I want everyone to stay inside and keep their distance from other people because if everyone in the world did that for around two weeks, we could get rid of the virus. On the bright side, I have had a lot of time to do art and to do things that I wouldn’t normally have time to do.

M:
Today we woke up and did our schoolwork after that we went on a hike. I also played with my friends on xbox. When we got back my sister and I made dinner. We had a beef rice and cucumber bowl. I then played more games and after that we went to bed

Day 8

E:
After school/work this morning, M went on a walk with her friend A and they were together (6 feet apart) for 5 hours.  So great.  M said they walked on opposite sides of the street for much of it. Her heart feels happy from time with her friends and it makes her all glowy.  It’s wonderful.

M and I took a bike ride.  It was the first time I’ve ridden a bike since recovering from two surgeries on my R. knee over the past year and a broken wrist from a mountain biking accident.  What a year…who knew this one would top it?  I’m just grateful to have my physical body back and working right now to take care of these kids and myself.  I know that there are many out there who are compromised to begin with, and my heart goes to them.

Anyway, riding bikes up the county road was so much fun.  Liberating.  We went for about an hour.  There was bit of a chill in the air.  We passed the cows and moo’ed at them loudly.  We had a contest to count bird nests.

Then I did the dreaded shopping trip.  I left the kids and drove to town.  Since we had pre-ordered, the car was loaded up by market staff – he looked exhausted.  And he wasn’t allowed to accept tips. He told me that today the max amount of pick-ups allowed was 60 (between 8am and 8pm), and tomorrow they are doubling that to 120.

Early evening, M set up “spa day.”  She painted my nails…black with green sparkles.  We steamed our faces with green tea and bath salts, then did masks. So sweet.  And so fun…and it was awesome.  This was followed by a whole regimen of products.  And truly it felt fantastic.  Especially after the grocery run…the best.

Then M helped me make pizzas. He rolled the dough and threw it up into the air.  Covered in olive oil and sea salt, homemade sauce, feta, mozzarella, peperoni and black olives.  He did a great job.  So fun to cook with him.  And we had salad…hooray.

I can honestly say that the quality time I am spending with the kids has dramatically increased in the past week since we are all out of our old routines.  I am so grateful for that.  I know that there are a lot of people suffering right now.  I feel the weight of that, too.  I worry for my brother struggling on the farm, for my mom who is home alone…and also, I very much trust the lights in them. They are both so bright.

M:
Day eight was a pretty good day. I got to see Anna and we hung out and walked around. We barely talked about the virus which made it a lot better. It felt like we were just hanging out like we used to. It felt good to be there for her. I miss all my friends and I wish I could be with them, but in some way it feels like we are closer than ever. There’s no drama or fighting, it’s just positivity. We are all going through this together and we all support each other. Every day I hear something new about how much longer the virus is going to go or how we might be stuck like this for months. These things are all very hard to hear because I want to be with my people again. I hope that after this ends, We will all be closer and we won’t take advantage of being around each other. I wish that we all already had corona because then we would be immune and we could hang out. There’s so many things that I wish were different but I have no power over them which makes me feel helpless. My friends and I text all the time and that makes me feel hopeful. I couldn’t imagine going through this alone. Everyday I think about how excited I am for the future and how grateful I will be when it gets here.

M:
Today we woke up and did our school work from 9-12, after that we went on an hour long bike ride. When we got back I played games with my friends for a while. My mom then went to the grocery store to pick up food we had ordered on Sunday. When my mom got back we ate food and I helped make pizza. After that my mom and I watched a show then went to sleep.

Day 7

E:
The refrigerator is looking a little bare.  Good thing we have our grocery pick-up scheduled for tomorrow.  City Market is offering free drive up service.  I ordered on Sunday, but Wednesday was the first day we could get in.   We are good on frozen things and pantry things, but we are hurting on fresh produce.  I’m excited about lettuce.

I taught a 30-minute live restorative yoga class today for Mom and her friends. It was so sweet to be with them in that way.  I love how we are finding ways to connect.

M and I hiked with friends through the snow up on the mesa – to a beautiful view of the mountains. The sky was bluebird and the sun was beaming, and it felt great to be high.  They brought their dog who loved catching snowballs in her mouth.  It was expansive.

M drove down from the hike.  He did a great job…curvy roads and all!

M went on her own walk with her friend, E.  They needed some alone time, and I’m so happy they had the opportunity.  We all have this 6-foot-distance thing down, and I trust them with it.

I’m hoping we can continue to connect with people outside in this distance-conscious way, though I’m not sure how it will all look going forward.

People close to us are starting to feel various ramifications from this.  A local employee who just quit working for a friend’s business due to C-19 totaled his car and barely survived.  This happened during the hours he would have been at work …guilt, sadness.

Last night the kids and I watched Train to Busan, a Korean zombie apocalypse film.  It was fantastic.  Also, a little edgy with the looming real-life virus.  There were words in the movie like “quarantine” and “infected.”  Surreal.

M:
Today was one of the best days yet. I got to have some alone time with E. We followed the six feet apart rule because it was easy when we weren’t being watched. We walked a couple circles around our neighborhood and gave other people distance when we walked by them. This was probably one of my favorite parts of the last week. After our walk, we sat down in the grass next to the tire swing. I can’t explain how much I enjoyed this alone time with E. These moments give me hope. They remind me of what we used to be able to, which helps me with the fact that we will be able to do those things again. We will be able to hug each other and be in each other’s houses. For the rest of the day I had a relaxing time in my room, then I watched a zombie apocalypse movie with my family. It was the perfect movie for this time because in some way it made us grateful that we weren’t being attacked by zombies. I have been on top of my homework and once you get into the rhythm of doing your work for a couple hours in the morning every day, It gets easier. All of my friends are having the same emotions that I am, and that makes me feel less alone.

M:
Today we went up county road 5 and did a hike. On the way back down I got to drive. When we got back I played games with my friends and we watched a zombie horror movie called Train to Busan.

Day 6, Monday Home Journal

E:
Strangely, it really did feel like a Monday.  We are into our routine.  It is a workday.  I am so grateful for a rhythm that does not allow us to lose track of these days.

I took a break from the news over the weekend.  And I have to admit that allowing it all back in today gave me a surge of worry.  The reality is grim.  There are so many people facing loss and who are suffering  or in fear right now.  The numbers are growing.  And the politics at the top are despicable…we will leave it at that.

Also, and in equal parts, I know that the earth is breathing.  Domestic flights may be grounded.  New York is considering blocking streets to vehicular traffic and opening to pedestrians.  Makes me think of this….Talking Heads ”Nothing but Flowers.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2twY8YQYDBE.  I heart David Byrne.  I used to think this song was about the future…

I’ve been FaceTiming with people.  My lover. My family.  My friends.  It’s so sweet to see them.  And they made it into my dreams last night.

Our hike yesterday felt like an effort.  No one was much up for it.  It was cold and grey.  The moods to match.  We did it anyway, and of course it’s always a good idea.

Last night we played “Oh Hell,” an old family card game that makes me think of my people.  Noted: it takes an effort to stop all of our individual activities to do something together.  And it is really important.  Even though there is resistance at first, it animates and balances everyone.

M:
Today felt more emotional than some of the other days. I really felt like I needed my space which I’m sure so many people feel. I wanted to be alone, but I didn’t know how to get there. We went on a hike around 3:30, and I really wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to be back in my room by myself. There are always days where every little thing annoys you, I was definitely having one of those days. On the way back to the car, I decided to run by myself. I ran the whole way back and sat in the car by myself for a while. This helped so much. I think there are two very important parts of quarantine. One of them is to be outside and to be social while keeping distance, but the other one is to have some time to yourself. Facetiming your friends is important, but also make sure you are putting time aside to be with yourself. Let your thoughts wander and think about whatever you want to because this is your time. Before today, I hadn’t experienced the joy of being by myself. I had sat in my room and watched netflix and facetimed people, But I hadn’t really been alone with my thoughts for a long period of time. After my run and alone time, I was in a much better mood. I never realize how much running positively affects my mental health until I do it. Even a 10 minute run helps me so much. It wakes me up and puts me in a better mood. The rest of the day was relaxing. I got to finish a season of American Horror Story, then we played a card game. The rest of the day was much better because I gave myself what I wanted and let go of the stress and pressure of school work and not seeing my friends. 

M:
Today we woke up and felt pretty lazy. I did my school work from 9-12. I will admit I didn’t get much done. I am still playing online games with my friends. We went on our daily hike but we weren’t very motivated. we then got back home and played family games. after that I watched a show and went to bed.