My mind feels like an apple used for batting practice, bruised, dented, and mushy. I feel physically tired and emotionally exhausted before I get out of bed in the morning. I wonder, when putting on a mask to go into a store, whether I am in some strange nightmare or if I am really living through events from a future society’s history books.
The passage of time feels uneven and has lost meaning. I feel disoriented. An external device notifies me of the day of the week. My eyes tear in the grocery store before my mind understands why. Somewhere between December holidays and the present, the world lost its way taking us all on a journey we do not want to make.
This weekend marks important religious days for multiple faiths. In December, which could have been a lifetime ago, I celebrated with family and friends. We hugged. We shared food. We lived. Now, in April “we” cannot do any of those things. We all try to make the best of challenging circumstances, but nothing feels quite right. Then again, I never feel quite right around major holidays. During this time of year between the chocolate bunnies, the eggs, the Friday, and the Sunday, my head fills with a cacophony of memories, questions, and uncertainty. I feel alone and set apart. I simultaneously celebrate and feel deep sadness and doubt. My eyes tear up before my mind understands why. My soul feels dented and bruised. If apples represented faith, mine would not be fit to mash into applesauce. Yet, sometimes in the confusion and loneliness, I find grace… a love for myself in my most unloveable moments and an acceptance of myself as a whole, as who I am in each moment, with doubts and faith coexisting.
Maybe, in the midst of this pandemic induced social distancing, grace can find us here, too – all alone together, confused and doubting while trying to believe and hope in a future we cannot see. Maybe we can offer love to ourselves and to each other in our less than perfect moments. Maybe we can see past short tempers and stress responses. Maybe we can see behind the masks and find our common humanity. Maybe it is okay that we do not have all the answers and that we doubt whether we make the right choices.
Maybe we all feel dented and bruised, and maybe that is okay.