Shelter in place.
What if this is the rest of my life? I do have one person who is fully huggable skin to skin, and he’s my beloved. I have an active garden that is still squeezing out ripe tomatoes and succulent peppers and crisp colorful chard, and it’s yelling at me to get my ass in gear and get the garlic bed ready because the planting’s already late. I have two cuddle-intensive cats who have not yet forgiven me for staying overnight at Salt Point this last week, so they are both sitting on my chest when I take a nap. I can’t go to the gym, but I’m getting some traction on putting a program together that can take up at least some of the slack (pun intended.)
What do I mourn? I already grieve not being able to perform for a live audience but I’m having some success putting that energy into writing the memoir. The thought of never embracing my daughter in Italy again is painful beyond belief, but we are lavish with phone calls and Facebook. In the past we tried Skype and didn’t like it, ditto FaceTime, but they do exist. I’ve always loved doing radio and have called it the most intimate of broadcast media, so perhaps the phone will continue to be the blessing it is at present.
Long-distance travel has always been a cherished experience, and I would have loved to go back to Italy and Amsterdam and Carnac again. But I have found that many of these places I have visited and loved year after year are so engraved on my memory that I can go there virtually. Really. I tried once walking from Plouharnel to Penthievre in my memory, step by step. I know this road well because I’ve more than once gotten off at the bus at the first rather than the second and then walked an hour to get to the hostel. I remember which wildflowers grow where, I remember choosing to walk the railroad ties for a while because the ground was so crumbly, I remember what it feels like when I get to the stand of ancient pines whose layers of needles are a soft carpet, I remember what the sound of the waves is like through those trees, and most of all I remember the light. I can still go there.
And my one solitary ancient stone at Carnac is still standing in the middle of a farmer’s pasture. So many times I have embraced its warm gritty skin and placed offering and burned incense at its base. I think it is a hot point on a ley line and I think another hot point is at Portuguese Beach, so maybe that’s another version of Skype.
If this is the rest of my life, it can be rich if I make it so. It’s up to me to reach deep into that fragrant loam and cultivate what can supply the energy that will be missing from the mix. I have a darkness that lives within me that constantly wants me to roll up like a pill-bug and sink into its dark, but I can reach for the light. That is the most important task.