There’s a fight brewing in my home, in myself. What’s the safest thing to do to be with my family as we turn to the first holiday without my dad, in a global pandemic? Fly, drive, crawl, or stutter and stop. Different people have different opinions, and while they know that I’ll do what I want, I still want them to want what I want.
I want space, time, to get out of this sour mood, to break through to a feeling of joy and clarity. What is that like? To remember what it was like to unknow and unsee. No, that’s not entirely what I want because that ignorance was a congruence I didn’t understand until I understood, and it wasn’t serving anyone. What is the lightness though, do I ever get that again? Does anyone? Did some every get to have it?
I want the miles per hour to match the miles per hour in my mind. I want to figure out what the work is, what staying in my lane means, what happened to us that we have become so hateful where what’s below it is fear and what are we so afraid of anyway? Each other? Breathing? Inhaling and exhaling, our bodies side by side, touching, because they are the same at their core but different at their core? Is it fear about a scrap of the pie, a seat at the table. Who made the pie and who owns the table anyway?
3000 miles probably won’t do these things. Will 6000 though? Maybe it will help, the sun will rise, the sock will be darned, the bone will grow and cover the fracture. It’s a miracle that bones grow again.
36 hours of podcasts. Roadside stands with avocados in California, lavender in New Mexico, art in the Zuni reservation. Canyons and mountains and the flat nothingness and lost prairie grasses of Kansas. Maybe a flat tire to ensure I’m awake. Rising with the sun and pulling over with the dark.
I want to count the Trump signs. The blue lives matter signs. I want to see how many people aren’t wearing masks. I want to stay curious and swallow my own hate. I want to understand how Arizona and Oklahoma are different, and then on the return Colorado and Wyoming. I want to see people again. Believe in them. Hope for them. That they will choose to change and solve problems together. To try doing those things for the first time, because if we don’t have a capacity to learn and grow, then I have lost my faith, which is difficult to do because I’m not sure I ever had it.
I want to pull into the driveway of my childhood home, headlights shining across the bay window, the oak tree just losing its last leaves, the empty tomato boxes waiting out the dark winter, just a lamp on inside, the hum of the refrigerator keeping company, stillness. I want to wrap these memories, the little memories, up in an envelope and tuck them away in the file cabinet so I always have them. This one filed under “grief 2020.” This one filed under “pandemic 2020.” This one filed under “waking up white 2020.” Each object and scent and placement all into an envelope for me, for my doubts, and for my doubting faith.