Love In The Time Of Corona: Peaks & Valleys

{insert two-month pause between posts, long overdue}

Here I go again…and be prepared for a metaphor or two. I’m feeling figurative tonight.

At the summit of a mountain, the landscape provides infinite possibility in its vastness, something the eye can only marvel at. Conversely, the insularity of a valley views a lot like one who stands the bottom of a tomb, with only a tiny patch of open sky to gaze upon.

I’ve seen both of these metaphorical perspectives over the past months; there have been several celebratory apexes to stand upon, so I try to harness the joy for rainy days, those moments when I find myself in the canyons.

If these vistas have taught me anything, it’s that the only constant in life is change.

I used to spout that fortune cookie-ism to my Junior English students at a time when I thought my life was such a whirlwind. Boy, did I know nothing of that. My 2011 self would be rolling in the aisles if I compared notes to me now!

I’ve never been one to take things one day at a time. Maybe it’s because I spent a lot of my teen years in daily turmoil, so I’d just say to myself: “A year from now, it’ll all be different…” Now, I’ve been trying to shift my focus away from long-term goals and just set my sights on the more tangible, daily things. This is difficult for someone who is a planner, a person who wants an itinerary so I feel like my time has been maxed to the fullest. I find myself trying to leap from peak to peak, and trying to avoid the plummet.

I’m reminded of a quote from one of my favorite comedies, My Life In Ruins: “How do you plan life??” You don’t, you can’t.

After this pandemic got in full swing, I realized that I could no longer have one plan. I began to feel like I was always asking what was being door number three, and like a mirror maze in a fun house, there wasn’t an easy way out unless I looked for it. You plan for A, have a contingency B tucked away in a drawer somewhere, and when C-Y don’t pan out, you just pray that you’ve got a Z to fall back on. I found that as true in the classroom as I do in my living room.

I’m not sure if it’s even smart for me to make a 2022 New Years’ Resolution, at this point. In fact, I read somewhere recently that “2022 can also be pronounced as as 2020, too,” and I felt like I was suddenly let back in the valley of March of 2020, when the world stopped. It made me want to crawl under my blankets and wake up in 2024–like Rip Van Winkle, where the world advanced beyond war, and into a time of peace.

That’s where I thought we were headed as more of the world got vaccinated, the safety protocol wrinkles were smoothing out, and now, I read articles by the day that claim we are seeing another surge of this virus. I honestly don’t think I can take another 18months like the past ones, and I don’t want to constantly answer my daughter’s “Mom, is it always going to be like this?” and I am not sure how to answer her.

On a personal level, I feel this especially where live Theatre is concerned.

I made a choice over the summer, long before I could look ahead and see a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. I broke my “only for today/no day but today” policy and booked a trip for my students in October of 2022 to Broadway/NYC. I worked on it, encouraged two director friends of mine to drum up support from among their programs, and we were sailing along, I thought, through only mildly choppy waters. Then, the first news breaks of shows with the virus, canceled performances, and I’m seeing it happening here on our home stages, too. We only just got Theatre back. I want it to stay. I *need* it to stay.

Big, deep breaths.

So I’m working more with hills and plateaus now. I find it’s going to create less emotional vertigo and it’s much more tangible for the flux we continue to find ourselves in. I told myself to be more flexible and less concrete. Toss in one more metaphor for you—more like the river, changing the landscape because of its own forces.

Here’s my prayer, as I lay my head on my pillow tonight—something has got to give—and I’m hoping that, after not too much more time passes, we will all celebrate together as we watch the world turn right side up again.

So, as I try my best not to lean over the chasm and give into the fear of the unknown, I have to remind myself (and you, too):

One day at a time.

Goodnight, kindreds.

-Kindred Spirit-


Published by kindredspirit0107

I am a writer, director, teacher, world traveler, avid theatre-goer, photographer, spontaneous adventurer, at-home chef/baker, and collector of unique things. I am a wife & mother of two who is trying to balance the home and career. :) Passionate about learning and love. I hope, one day, to be a published writer or playwright for an educational Theatre company.

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