When you can’t go anywhere

Boston is on lockdown. Yet today, only three hours from friends inventing art projects for their kids, or trying to watch movies, or seek out funny gifs as distraction, I traveled all over my new home.

As I drove I made and checked off the mental list of where I knew everyone would be, and made sure they were there and safe. And for the second time this week, thankfully, they are all physically okay. They are all stuck, waiting.

I went to mass. I returned to my former work at a ski resort to pick up my equipment now that the season is over. I went to the grocery store. I sent a package at the post office. And I sat at the coffee shop, surrounded by new people. I thought about how I am always compelled to do things. To go places. To travel. That being asked to sit, and wait, and wonder, is the hardest thing I could be asked to do right now.

I share the common human impulse to “fix” things. To categorize, catalogue, put in order, improve and repair. I can’t do anything right now. I’m having the hardest time writing. The level of stress we’ve all started to internalize is too high, as armored tanks roll past windows, as downtown remains a crime scene, as idiot news anchors trying to fill time spout illogical, irresponsible “information.”

After the bombings, a friend sent out this excerpt from The Road by Cormac McCarthy:

the roadAnd I guess that’s it. To find within the small movements, the thoughts, the simplicities, those forms of healing. I don’t know what I’m going to to do exactly, but next week I’ll be in Boston with arms that can hug, time to spare, and to see if, together, we can “construct ceremonies out of the air and breathe upon them.”


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