Monday, May 31, 2021

A Time To Give Up As Lost

A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost...

My youngest gets her second Pfizer jab this week.

I bought her a chocolate malt to celebrate the first but the real prize was my sense of relief. 

After 14 scary months, months of loss upon loss, could we be getting back the future tense the pandemic stole from us?

For a long while last year I held hope that we could pick up where we left off. Return to school, resume activities, keep events on the calendar. But as one thing after another was canceled (graduation, vacation, book club, enrollment, music theater, holidays), I got the message. The world we knew would no longer exist when we finally caught up.

I'm ready for the losses to stop, if only to give me space to grieve all the things that aren't coming back. 

There are people I loved who didn't make it this far, people I mourned alone when I should have been celebrating them with the many who miss them. My trust is damaged; my sense of safety--carved slowly and deliberately over a decade--lies slashed and mangled. I don't know how it can be restored. 

But in the last six months my daughter has finally won me over to love Dr. Who (horror, adventure, loss, romance, socially awkward aliens--what's not to like?) and if there's anything we're good at, it's regeneration. Pretty sure I must be 600 years old by now, I've lived so many lives.

Who I'll be next it's too early to tell, but the process is starting as I begin, cautiously, to explore the new post-vaccine world. I'll have the old memories, fresh perspective, and no idea what time means anymore.

One of my first ventures out was a glass weaving class. Four of us, masked, working at separate tables in a spacious room. 

I'd never worked with glass before and the breadth of sensations suited me: smooth glass sheets, the tiny-pizza-wheel scoring tool etching a gritty trail, biting the glass between rubber-tipped running pliers, the snap of a clean break, the clink of cut glass shapes in my palm, the whirr of a motor switched on, pressing glass strips against the grinder to wear sharp edges and corners smooth. I was so engrossed I even forgot to be anxious, or hold my breath inside my mask.  

To weave the strips for my design, half of them had to soften in the kiln to create waves. Interesting, huh? 

I feel like the glass some days: strong, inflexible, sharp, brittle, translucent, slumping where my supports fall away. 

This week, when I take my daughter downtown for her shot, we'll stop by the studio to see how my art came out. I can't wait to hang it on my wall as a symbol of new starts and taking new shapes.

Look, I'm using future tenses again! Yippee!