I wrote this last night.
“How ya doing?” asked a dear friend of mine yesterday. I told her that I felt like there was a room within me (as I patted my chest) where there’s a man crying, all day long. If it were the challenges and horror of the Pandemic alone, I’d tell myself that this is a rare potent time to create, to go within, to tap into the introspective blue. But if one feels empathy, it’s overwhelming. Another man in another room simply goes about making tea and speaking softly about hope while whispering the many names we have given God. Crying man sits unceremoniously at the end of the bed like the subject in a Edward Hopper painting, looking towards a wall that used to have a window. He’s predictable now and heavy company, so I don’t visit him often. I can see him from here. I get the internal nudge to create, to wake up from the inside out, to cultivate inner peace, to work to uncover truth, to protest in the streets, but I keep myself busy fixing everything around the house, my lists are long. I drink too much, smoke too much. Some nights it feels like everything is for nothing; that what was worth something wears only the clothes of memory. I’d like my life stirred, not shaken I murmur to myself as I wake in a dream. How does one care for one’s self when so deeply focused on caring for another? I place my ear up to the door of the crying mans room as I shove a love note beneath the door and wait.