Day 35

The first month has passed…

E:
The sky struggles
to procure the sun,
so we keep our faith
in springtime

and turn our faces
toward the rain.
New things are holy
now: Los Angeles

sings like an aviary
and electric starlight
dwarfs the house
next door; we shave

our heads in observance
of a Saturday night
hot dog eating contest;
nighttime fantasies

leave their fragrance
on the morning stoop,
a mood in minor key;
we dream

of our daughters,
of a cartoon pestilence,
a river, a romance;
guitar music

fills the evening and
empties the calendar;
a bald eagle moves closer
than the neighbor;

the children
are driving cars
on the back roads;
lovers curl together

and move apart, and
curl together; we wait,
we learn, we listen,
we play; and when

the world closes,
the heart finds
a new way
to open.

M:
We haven’t written in a while and I think that’s because we’ve adjusted to quarantine. I don’t feel the need to let my feelings out as often because they aren’t as emotional as they used to be. I’ve gotten my schoolwork completely under control which took a couple weeks, but now I feel much less stress and everything is easier. I taught myself organization and good study skills. Things feel normal. The only thing I feel I lost are my social skills. I know I can get them back but if I were to hang out with people, I think I would act different, I think everyone would act different. This is the longest I’ve ever been away from my friends since I was two. When I think about the worst part of quarantine I still think of my friends. But now thinking of them I don’t feel sad, I feel excited for the moment that we get to see each other. Why feel sorry about things you can’t control when you can look at the bright side and see the light at the end of the tunnel where we all get to hang out again and get back to our old life. Or maybe our new start.

M:
This week we set up the trampoline and with the new net it looks so much better. Rob was also here all week and that was super fun. We ate a lot of food. Yesterday I made hotdogs on the grill. they were all a little burnt but they were still good. My dad also came down and we went to the soccer fields and we played in my backyard. It was good to see him because I haven’t for awhile. I also hung up a signed football poster. The amount of school work we have has definitely increased. The NFL draft is on Thursday and I hope my favorite team picks Henry Ruggs. This year the draft is being held virtually so it will be very different from all the other years.

 

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.

A Colorado Family’s Home Journal, the Coronavirus Edition…Day 1

Day One.
by:  E, M & M

E:
Today is the first day of our family COVID-19 journal.  We have been in self-isolation since Monday.   The slow realization of what this means is dawning hourly upon each of us. Everything from…maybe we shouldn’t drink all the juice in one day to what do you mean I can’t see my (fill in the blank…best friend, lover, dad, Roxy the dog)?

We have started a routine. No sleeping past 9am.  This only applies to one of us as the other two are up early drinking tea, making coffee, checking in on the news, listening to music. At 9am, we all sit down with our laptops and start working.  Fortunately, the kids’ school is totally rocking, and they are working on assignments and participating in online classroom chats.  It is hard to describe how much gratitude I have for these educators.  I am working, too.  Thankfully.

So we have our work time, then it’s lunch.  Then we go outside for a hike, a walk, etc.  As of today, we are going with one other family that we are very close to, and it’s hard to stay six feet apart.  What’s harder is reminding the kids to stay six feet apart – they are mad at us for being so annoying and we are frustrated that we have to be the enforcers.  But we are making light of it too.  Today our friends brought pieces of yarn cut to six feet so that we could hold the ends while we walked – to be sure we were the appropriate distance.  (The girls started it yesterday when they brought a tape measure – to make fun of us –  hilarious.)

We are fine on food. Cooking feels so good.  It’s so normal and I feel like I can support my kids, our health and our spirits through meals.  Maybe it’s the Jewish grandmother in me.

We had a blowout today. This is hard on 15-year-olds. They want their friends and I understand.  The anger needs to come out at someone, and that someone is the enforcer…mom.  Today the anger finally turned to tears…for both of us.  And that felt much better.  This is sadness.  Loss, shock…and just totally beyond the realm of comprehension.

Everything has slowed down. We listen to each other.  Dinners last longer.  We get frustrated with each other.  We navigate how much screen time, how much time is ok to spend in one’s own room, how much milk we should use in a day, do we should go to the orthodontist or not (cancelled), do we should play pick up soccer outside or not (not), who is doing what, why are there people in that restaurant? Why are we home?  I am making a list of chores as I think of them and still haven’t tackled one.  It is supposed to snow tomorrow.

We started an email between all of the neighbors on our block so that we can be in touch. I’ve never really liked the phone (except for when I was 15).  I’m accepting the fact that I will talk on the phone to stay connected to the people I really, really love a lot.  And I will enjoy it.

We are doing our very best. I’m so proud of the kids.  Despite the massive adjustments, I  feel positive in my core.  There are dolphins and swans swimming in the canals in Venice.  The water is clear.  They can see fish.

M:
Day one has been one of the most emotionally filled days of my life. I feel happy that the world’s nature is coming back to life and that I get to experience this time while living in a safe environment. On the flip side, I feel unbelievably sad and alone. I feel like I’ve lost all my power and the thought of having months of this makes me want to cry. I’m allowed to be with my family, but when I think about it, my friends are my family and not being able to be around them kills me. I’m not allowed to hug the people that give me life. I am starting to learn how some people feel in the fall when everything is getting dark and they have to stay inside because of the cold. I have never felt like that because I love the winter, but this time of the year is when the flowers start to grow and the trees get green. The animals are supposed to start coming around more. We aren’t supposed to have a global pandemic. I got in a fight with my mom today because of the tension. We yelled at each other and that sucked a lot and I just wanted to keep screaming. I was so mad because like a normal teenager, I was blaming her. I was blaming her for not letting me see my friends because I thought it was her fault. After I took a moment, I thought about the severity of this situation and there is nowhere to place the blame because it’s no one’s fault and at the same time it’s everyone’s fault, the world is simply fighting back. I am beginning to come to terms with the fact that this is going to be my life for a while and I think I’m about to accept it. Today I facetimed my friends in Telluride and they told me about how state officials are coming to their houses and testing them. They told me about San Miguel county shutting down. This made me realize that I’m not going to see them or my dad for longer than I thought. I went on a hike today with my friend and it felt so weird staying six feet away from her. I love her and all I want is to hug her and go through this with her. We still get to talk, but in the future we might not even be allowed to leave our houses.  Even though I have all these sad emotions, this whole “quarantine” thing might have a silver lining because I will bond with my family and we will learn things about each other that we would have never known. The world is falling apart but saving itself at the same time. We are all experiencing an event in history and I know it will be hard then easy then hard again. We have to remember that nothing has ever not gotten easier. And in the whole grand scheme of things, a couple months doesn’t seem so bad. 

M:
The first 24 hours of school being shut down have been weird. We went on 2 walks and had to stay 6 feet apart. We did our school work from home from 9 -12. We can’t go to other friends houses but we are still having fun. The one bad thing is that we have to stay 6 feet apart. I had an orthodontist appointment scheduled for tomorrow but we cancelled. I also can’t go up to Telluride because nobody is able to leave San Miguel County. I won’t get to see my dad and dog until April 3rd at least. That time is expected to change so most likely longer.

Sending everyone out there so much love,
E, M & M

After A Day

I didn’t know how
to stop the conflict,
so I got out of the car
and walked up the road,
it was dirt, and the evening
was getting on, and there
were many beautiful grasses
growing in the summer dusk,
and there were things changing
all around us, and inside of us
and as the sun was setting,
we drove home in silence,
where we sat together on
the couch, under a knit
blanket and touched
limbs until bedtime,
falling toward the
soft knowing that
wraps the only
thing that
matters.

Jedi

On the day you get into your first fight,
you tell me that now you understand
Darth Vader, how he reached
his tipping point,
and never came back,

and how the dark thing
welled up inside you
until you shoved harder than you ever knew you could,
how the other boy flew
three whole sidewalk squares,

and with the red blood
still wet on your lip, you apologized to the boy,
before the front desk buzzed me in
to gather you up, you had already
found your way

toward your own peace.  So together
we clean quietly the beginnings
of this new and storied scar,
Darth Vader never came back, you say,
but I’m a good person,

so I’ll recover.

Falling Star

Just as this bed faces the window now,
just like we turn toward the night
where lace curtains hang like they’ve always hung
since people first learned how to hide.

Just like I want to turn toward you,
or how sometimes I might go inside
when you get home so late and I’m looking away,
still the words that you say, and the way that you say,

and the hands that you lay, the space just melts away.

Look how it’s all been forgotten,
how we all forgot something again,
we are trying to grow up and we’re trying to grow old,
and we find ourselves right where we’ve been

before, there were so many answers
from the suit men erupting like fires,
so we stand in the face of the answer man
and the smoke and the jokes and the liars,

and the forests are burning like pyres.

Just as I need to turn toward you now,
just like your arms hold me tight,
and we make a new verse to replace this old curse
for the poets who’ve shown us the light.

See how I’m learning the same thing again,
and this might always be how it goes,
so we do it all over, except this time it’s better,
and the night comes again, and the light comes again,

thought I’d walked through this door, then discover there’s more.

In a moment last night, in the dust of a dream,
a vision through half sleepy eyes,
but real as the truth, or the words that you say,
or the voices of those who will rise.

With love on our side, between curtains flung wide,
a star cuts the sky like a knife
with a trail so bright it erases the night
as the mountain erupts like a fire,

and the heat of it burns like a choir.