My Mind is Clearer Now

At last, all too well,
I can see where we all soon will be.

Okay, so I’ll refrain from singing, but Jesus Christ Superstar is a damn fine musical (and the 1973 film rendition is awesome), and the fact that I even feel like singing is a HUGE win, because I haven’t felt like singing in months. Now I do, and that’s happy.

But even though something of a dreary fog has lifted within my own addled psyche, the world itself is still covered in a dreary fog. This is why even the smallest and most fleeting of victories feel like massive celebrations. I recently completed a project at work that had languished unfinished for nearly three years, and I nearly wanted to cry from the rooftops in jubilation when it was finally over. Instead, I quietly cried in relief. Just for a moment; no waterworks or anything. It was a very happy, small cry for a happy, small victory.

I also cried after Joe Biden’s acceptance speech this past Saturday. Not because of anything he said. Not because of Kamala Harris’s perfectly perfect outfit. And not because of visions of the presidential office once again becoming properly presidential. It was because of the fireworks at the end of the speech. They reminded me that, among all the family celebrations we have throughout the year, we never had my favorite – the 4th of July. Actually, Thanksgiving is really my favorite family holiday, but it’s nearly tied with the 4th of July, because it’s the one night that my parents recklessly set off rinky-dink fireworks at their secluded home. And still, at me and my siblings’ advanced ages (ha!), we all still gather around to “ooo” and “ahh” as they putter into the sky or pop loudly on the driveway or smolder away never to be realized (a few probably got wet while in the garage). We yell at the children to stay away from everything that’s on fire; they run out into the yard hoping to “catch” a few fallen sparks. It’s all very stupid and silly, but it’s my family’s moment to be stupid and silly. I honestly didn’t realize how much I missed that until I saw Biden’s fireworks.

But it’s with a clearer mind now that I’m thankful my family didn’t get together in July. And I’m also thankful that everyone in the family has decided to pass on winter holiday get-togethers, too. (We’re doing Thanksgiving virtually, at least.) Because I’d very much like to see them all for many winter holidays yet to come. Being a hermit for a year plus is a small price to pay for that. Indeed, my own circle has parroted the “99% recovery rate” phrase, and that we “shouldn’t be ruled by the virus.” And yes, I agree; I am not stopping anyone from living. But the fact that I very well could stop someone from living, especially some one I love, is more than enough for me to be okay with pausing life for a while. I don’t want to get sick, and I don’t want you to get sick. That’s it. That’s the tweet.

I didn’t really have a point in mind when I started writing this post. During the past several weeks, my brain has felt like me staring at a pile of LEGO bricks with a full understanding of how they go together but an inability to make my hands work. Paralyzed. But my mind is clearer now. And I may just go watch Jesus Christ Superstar.

And some more fireworks.

And I might just cry a little more.

But at least now I remember how LEGOs works.

Better times are ahead. Maybe not yet, but soon.

That’s enough happy to carry on.

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