We value art of the times. Of the vulnerable, the raw, the honest. We uplift those brave ones who surrender to uncertainty through the process of creation. We are a community of makers, processing fear, grief, joy and love in times of quarantine.
I'm home alone so often and I somehow have never gotten any better at it. I was an only child for approximately a year and a half and I don't remember any of it. I do remember a life full of days with my three siblings and many cousins and almost always a parent or two around. I've realized in therapy in the last year that I do still have abandonment issues. Not the big, scary “my parent left me and never came back” abandonment issues or the kind where someone dies unexpectedly or leaves the country and never comes back. No, it's the kind where my Mom was always around but my Dad had to choose every year between Thanksgiving or Christmas. He had to work one. Where my Dad worked nights and I was always unsure of when he would come home, or if. He was a news cameraman but stll, it felt like his job was dangerous when compared to the teaching lifestyle my mother chose; or perhaps just continued with out of necessity? Unclear at the moment. I've been with my boyfriend for over 12 years and yet I have always felt this immense fear of him leaving. I never slept well until we moved in together and had the blessing of him coming home to me every night. I've lost many friends I thought I would have forever due to us just being a bad match and yet it feels like...it was always my fault? Perhaps I have learned to be alone because all of this comes to me in the silence. Perhaps I can't heal unless I feel it all. My one litle body and my overstretched brain can't hold this in for too long I suppose. My dog isn't much of a conversationalist.
I do notice that the sun is stll out and it's nearly 6:00PM. It's March in California and it's 2020. History books will remember this is at the time of the corona virus sweeping the world. I've never felt anything like it. I'm home and I felt prepared, at first, because my boyfriend went to the store and I ordered extra dog food and I've been alone so much since moving to California. Am I abandoning myself by leaning into this singular existence? No. It's helping. My Dad was helping when he was at work. My boyfriend was helping himself by living away from me for so many years. My friends were letting me go to find better ones. I was just holding on so tight, I was blinded.
Breathwork yoga is a new thing for me. Science says your body gets over oxygenated and your hands clench into fists and they float next to your ears and you can't control it. You can only let go when you slow down your breathing, slowly, slowly returning to normal. You have somewhat psychedelic experiences as this is happening. The frist time I ever did it I imagined everyone I ever loved, an image of them, leaving my body. Another time I imagined myself holding on again, so tightly, to the ones I loved. Another time I just saw the three people I've spent the most time with in my life (my Mother, my brother, my lover) and I smiled at them and thanked them for not leaving. Are we all afraid of being alone? Do we all have our limits? I've asked myself this, alone, on the couch, many times.
Agar-thick gust of fortune or was it famine? This petri sphere cultured contaminations of angst before the season died of its cold. And just as crocus and snowdrop presaged that annual resuscitation, vegetation-rich phenological ritual, that threat silent while unseen, invisible to the eye’s shameful gaze, encroached on our communities, together while apart. Apart in our togetherness, we sit idly in rooms of our own making, gathering crumbs for coffee and scraping plates clean of encrustations that moments earlier seemed nutritive, beneficial. We sit idly in rooms, waiting for any sense of movement, ears to the ground, awaiting subtle tremors forecasting change. Change that can no longer suffer touch of feeble, drenched human hands for fear of spreading the word. Language as virus, virus, that apogee of the unutterable. For though breath warms and enlivens our empty rooms, measure for measure, each breath bears some tracer of the possibility of language, born of the tongue from out the vexed concavity of that fecund orifice. Checking... checking... checking... We await the breathless all’s clear that dispels the gloom of these late winter days. These late winter days steeped in the passage of forty that roots the whisper of quarantine. Many now jobless sit together and apart in those rooms, in those fragile cells, plugged into the network of voiceless utterance where the graver threat is to the mind. The mind blanketed in the miasma of its fears, its worries. Collective bargaining for the collective unconscious for fear of solipsisms. While I breathe I hope that these forty days foment in the purgative mist of questions unanswerable. Pleading the living air for a little breath. A little hope yet. I turn my back to the wall, close my eyes a little while and try to breathe without muttering a syllable. It was not in the wind; nor in the fire; nor in the shattering of images; but in the still small voice, as a scurry of rats’ toes over the pallid leaves of lilies. Stirring up those feelings long since buried unceremoniously in that vacant lot that once housed human habitants whose breaths quieted first to a whisper and then to a void. Feeding soils now impoverished through the trenchant application of reason. Science is to know. Projectile hopes lasso the moon amid cloudy nights and the protector receives them. Language is a virus by which we can lasso the moon, even if it is our first rodeo. Cast your gaze telescopic, drink full that big picture and charge the air with a vital quality. Take care of what you can. Open your eyes. With the right application of reason, lo, our Ram-Bearer ellipses our petri sphere to relieve us of the clouding fear! Relieving that reliving we might join hands once again, look one another in the eyes, and reconcile. Reconcile, that is, enmesh eyelashes and burn sincere a pyre of our fear.