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Archive for April, 2020

There have been so many days that have played out for me during this crisis when I’ve just felt….numb.  I’ve felt unfeeling.  It’s as if this suit armor I’ve built for myself over the past 41 years of my life on this planet and all she has done to me….well, it’s finally come in handy.  Now I’m a fortress.  Now I am an island unto myself.  As we all might be led to believe right now.

But none of this is right.

In reality, I’ve got a lot of emotions during these days.  I will name them here.  I am anxious.  I am sad.  I am grateful.  I am scared.  I am hopeful.  I am angry.  I am loved, loving, love.   I am tired.  I am bored.  I am comfortable.  All of these emotions are most likely present in me every single day at some point.  Sometimes, I catapult from one to the other so quickly that I’m sure I would come out of the other side with whiplash.

So I wonder if it’s not so much that I’m numb but more that all of these feelings are meeting at some center point in my body and cancelling each other out.  Kinda like if you take a bunch of different colors of paint and blur them together…..all  you would have left is a gray puddle.

And then, just a bit ago, I decided to check out the video that Josh Ritter put out a few days ago where he played his album “The Animal Years” in his living room.  We all are in our living rooms these days, after all.  This album starts with a song called “Girl in the War.”  And my emotions have absolutely no defense against this song.  They never have.  They never will.  The numb of a national crisis/pandemic/trauma cannot stop the power that this song has over me.

In the brief few minutes that I sat in my bed listening to this song today….my mind flashed to all of the other places I had been when I had heard it.  This song I have sang at the top of my lungs while driving around with the windows open, in a mood that could be taken down by no man or beast.  This song has seen me at the depths of heartbreak, my eyes like champagne, sparkling and bubbling over.  When I saw Mr. Ritter do this song live for the first time, I was at a crowded music festival in a big city, my arms rubbing against strangers, my hand holding that of a man whom I would break up with that very night.  (Remember when we could do things like go to crowded music festivals?  Doesn’t it seem so far away now?)

That particular heartbreak was a big one.  It took me a long while before I got over it. There were some sticky things involved…if you’ve read my book you know the whole story.  But alas, for months and months it seemed as if it was a pain that would live forever in my soul.  It seemed as if permanent damage had been done.  I amassed large sheets of armor for that one.  Nothing will ever be good again, I thought in those dark times

Just so happens that yesterday I was downtown I saw this man from a block away.  Wanna guess what I felt?  Nothing.  Nada.  And it wasn’t the numbness this time.  It was just that  the slow unwinding of some very complicated knots had finally been processed.

That’s what time does.  It makes things better….eventually.

And you know what else time does?  It keeps going on.  It marches.

I’m not saying that we won’t come out of this with some scars.  We won’t.  We are all collectively suffering a really shitty breakup.  We have all been dumped and ghosted and cheated on.  And the worst part is that we are doing going through this without being able to go see our best friends and cry in their arms as they tell us that we are going to be OK….that far better things wait for us on the other side.  And though we might not believe them at the time they tell us these things….one day down the road we see that they were right.

Until then, we talk to each other over long wires and we let musicians sing to us from their living rooms to our beds.  And we allow ourselves to feel and trust all of those different emotions.  We take those emotions and we use them like paint and we create this masterpiece that is new and terrifying and uniquely ours.  One day it will be history.  One day this will be past.  One day we will have new heartbreaks that make us forget this one.  But we will have joys that provide the same amnesia.

We were not meant to be fortresses.  Our efforts to connect with one another during this strange time prove this.  We were never meant to wear armor.  It’s too heavy.  We were meant to dance in crowds….and one day, we will again.

(If you’re looking for something to read and want to know more about the aforementioned story, my book “The Intimacy Interviews” is still available on Amazon is paperback and e-book)

 

 

 

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