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 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.

Day 5, Family Coronavirus Journal

Day 5

E:
Sunday.  We made a short film today.  The story is a about a teenage girl (played by E), who is forced to go on a hike with her two parents.  Dad (played by the talented M) is worried because he has to lay people off.  Mom (featuring gifted newcomer M) is panicked about toilet paper.  Nonetheless, they know it’s a good idea to get their reluctant daughter out in nature (she just wants to be with her friend Sheila).

Oh, the antics.  Daughter wants to hike with her cell phone but is denied.  She mopes along the trails while Mom and Dad valiantly attempt to make her have a good time. Things change when she throws her first rock into the river…maybe this is fun!

After that, she starts to get the hang of it.  Dad is exhausted trying to keep up with her, while Mom finally gets some peace and quiet.

A cheeky cast makes this nail biter a not-to-be-missed film of the season, complete with a harrowing car scene, never-before-seen stunts done by the actors themselves and a family who keeps learning (even as we speak) about what nature can do for a family.

Rated PG for some thematic elements.  Running Time 5 min.

M:
Day five was more fun than all the other days. We went on the same hike that we go on a lot, but we made a short movie while on the hike. After the hike, I spent a while editing the movie. This was fun because we decided to make it not relate too much to coronavirus so we had time to think about other things. I’ve decided the worst part of his virus is that we have to think about it all the time. It’s this constant thing in our brains and everything we do reminds us of it. I think my friends are also starting to get more relaxed with the thought that we are going to be inside for a long time. At first everyone was freaking out and we all didn’t know what we were going to do with ourselves. Now we’re finding a lot of people to facetime and we are making it through the hard times. I’m fine staying inside but I wish I was staying inside with my friends. I wish that we could be going through this together. I would be fine doing self isolation for months if I had at least one friend. We are now in our second week and After this we will have a spring break. I can tell is week will be easier and it will keep getting easier from here. 

M:
Today we woke up and ate breakfast. We then decided to make a short film on our hike. It ended up being pretty good and after that we got back home and I was kinda tired. When we were filming my sister was driving the car and it took us 6 attempts to shoot the film because the phone kept falling over. When we got back I played Xbox with my friends.

Day 4

E:
A weekend.  That means that everyone gets to sleep in as late as they want.  No work or school.  It feels different from the weekdays despite the constancy of setting.

I taught a live yoga class online this morning.  I was super nervous.  I’m not sure where that came from… it felt very vulnerable for some reason.  As soon as class started however, that went away, and I dropped into teaching mode which was so soothing.  It felt very connected to be with everyone at the same time, even friends in other states.  I loved it.

Just the preparation itself was beneficial  – creating the space, planning the class, lighting candles, figuring out the digital platform, communicating with all the friends and famiy out there… I will do more of these.

Grandpa B. dropped off a bucked of dehydrated fruit on the doorstep.  He drove 1.5 hours roundtrip just to make the delivery.  So kind.  He knocked on the window during the last ten minutes of the yoga class so I jumped up to talk to him.  Sweet, beautiful imperfections inside of everything.

We are all connected in such a caring way right now.  Unprecedented.

We ate after noon – Saturday brunch!  Pancakes and bacon.

When the first flakes of snow started to fall, we walked to the soccer fields to play a game called thunder and lightning.  It’s a great soccer game variation because everyone can stay six feet+ apart.  It was just our family and two friends…we played several rounds.  Madden won both.  By the time we finished, the temperature was dropping, and the snow was coming down.

At home we watched JOJO RABBIT.  Fantastic film and especially poignant to watch during this time. The last frame is a line from Rilke:

“Go to the limits of your longing: let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final.”

Of course, the tears came.  The kids just expect me to cry during movies, but this especially was a beautiful crusher at this particular moment in our lives.

Had a video call last night with the San Francisco family.  Some of my oldest friends.  It was beautiful and just so precious to be with them.  I saw all of them a few months ago and we have been staying very connected through this.  What a gift, technology.  Meanwhile, the kids were both talking to their friends.  It was like a real Saturday night…everyone out with their people.

Sunday I will sort out the grocery options available right now.  Feeling less and less like I want to venture out into a market-environment. Lots of places are doing delivery or pick up.  It would be cool to have lettuce.

M:
Day four felt easy because we didn’t have school. I got to lay in bed and talk to my friends all day. At one point we went to the soccer field and played thunder and lightning. This was hard because me and Eleni always hug each other when we both get out, but this time we couldn’t even get near each other. There were a couple moments where we almost forgot, But then we remembered and kept our distance. I thought that the weekend wouldn’t feel like a weekend because we are basically doing the same thing and I still have homework, but it still feels like the weekend. Maybe that’s just because these days are drilled into my head and the weekend will always be a break and I will always be waiting for it. These days are nice because there is no schedule. We wake up whenever we want, which for me means at around noon, then we go outside. There are no set plans and it feels really nice. I can tell that people are starting to see the hidden beauty of all of this. I’m beginning to see it too. I now have much more time for my art and for things that I love to do. I know this disease will eventually end, but at the moment, It feels like it’s never ending. It feels like I won’t ever be able to see my friends again. I know I will in time, but even in that time, will it still be the same? Will I still have that connection and good energy that I have with them now? Or will we not know how to handle ourselves? I’m a very social person so I think I’ll be able to make it out of this and live the same life. Even if it gets hard, having that mindset will get me through this self isolation thing. I talked on the phone with Anna for a little bit and I want to see her so bad. We used to have spring break plans together, but now we might not be able to see each other. I miss her so much and all I want to do is be there for her. Thinking about my friends makes me sad but I have to remember to come back to the happy thoughts.

M:
Today we woke up and had pancakes for breakfast. We then laid around the house and at about 1 we went down to the soccer fields to play. After that we came back to the house. I was playing games with my friends online and we won 3 times in a row. then we watched a movie. After that we had chicken soup for dinner and went to bed early because we were tired.