Another day of not wanting to do things, not wanting to get out of bed, not wanting to teach the workshop I so lovingly designed, not wanting to deal with dogs, children, family.
Sean takes our beast for her early morning walk and when I finally come up to the kitchen to start my day’s work—don’t want to do it—he is on his hands and knees washing the kitchen and living room floor. “Pee or puke,” I ask, don’t really care. “Muddy paw prints,” he says. He didn’t want to walk the dog either, doesn’t want to start his day washing the kitchen floor. I should feel grateful.
I do wonder—did he want to get out of bed?
Probably not—the whole world does not want to get out of bed right now.
But. We do.
Something good: yesterday, after Flora and I get back from the Black Lives Matter vigil and Sean picks up Cinder from work—Ender is violating lockdown rules and having a sleepover with his grandmother and cousins, ssshhh, don’t tell the self-appointed sanctimonious “deprive yourself of all human contact until there’s a vaccine” quarantine police—we kind of reaffirm the beauty, the power—the necessity—of the ordinary. We take our furry beast for a rumble on the hill. Then, Sean makes us gin and elder flower tonics in badly washed martini glasses. We sit on the balcony watching a storm approach. So many things we should tak about, but this calm before the storm is precious, and we are exhausted.
So. We don’t.
The teenagers come down to join us. And take us on a trip down memory lane… and alos, carefully, tenderly… look to the future.
When I start to chase Flora to bed a couple of hours later, she protests.
“I’m enjoying family time!” she says.
We look at anti-racist memes on Insta and Twitter together for a while longer.
I am, in the middle of battle and uncertainty, very briefly, at peace.
Out of bed. Pen. Notebook. Coffee. But this is not a happy moment, for I don’t want to do any of the things that usually bring me joy, and the things to which deadlines are attached I want to do even less. Also, I hate people, all people, even you, and hate is an ugly, exhausting emotion, I want it gone.
Coffee. Pen. Paper. Words. My prayer, my meditation.
Halfway down page two, I feel at peace.
It’s gone by the halfway point of page three. Still. It’s something.
Something’s got to give, break, crack, change.
The Black Lives Matter protests in the streets, peaceful in Canada and most other countries, intermittently crossing the line into fire and violence in the US, are an external manifestation of this individual, internal feeling in my heart, perhaps in yours. They are the foment—not yet the explosion. Not yet the change.
Something’s got to give.
The pressure is building.
I get out of bed, pen, paper, coffee, words, and then, all the things, because, one day, Cinder and Ender’s children—Flora does not plan to use her uterus—will ask me, “What did you do in 2020, Babciu,” and I don’t want to say, that was the year I didn’t get ouf of bed, that was the year I suffered, whined, complained, wanted to be over.
But it’s very hard. I wonder if I’ll remember to tell them that.
I did the things we had to do. But it was very hard. 2020, the year that you will remember as the year that changed the world? That was the year that it was very hard to get out of bed.
PS Yesterday’s vigil in yyc can be viewed here: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1mnxelybwwNJX?