When I don’t post regularly on this blog my inner writer homunculus knows something is wrong. I’m still angry with myself for blowing my chance to write for EdWeek, and have this weird, envious, shameful, muddy mess of emotions. But so what? Everyone does right now.
Yesterday I get a text from my husband, “Where’s the mop?” I’m out in my writing shed (which is a blessing, and might be saving my marriage right now). I assume the little, old dog, Snickers, has had an accident. I resist the urge to offer to come in and mop us the mess. He, my husband, can handle it. Snickers is about 16-18 years old: I’ve lost count. And before you judge me, understand he’s had a good life with us. He’s a Cairn/Shitzu/Bichon mutt, and when groomed is about as cute as can be. But my husband then reported, it wasn’t just that Snickers had an accident, it was that he freaked out, started crying, and then when my younger son let him out, Snickers bolted down the street. When my son caught up with him, Snickers bit him, broke one of of his few teeth, and bled a little bit. He didn’t break my son’s skin (he can’t–he mostly gums his food). Both my husband and son were shaken up by the experience. My husband thinks that Snickers had a dog-Alzheimers seizure of some kind. The poor pup was so exhausted from his episode, he slept on my son’s bed for a long time. This morning, he’s back to his normal self: he trots to the baby gate (five years in and we must keep him separated from the bigger dog), goes out, and business as usual.
Perhaps there is an allegory here. Maybe I’m pushing the metaphor too hard. I’m feeling like a garbage writer. I’ve been drafting and rewriting my renewal components for my National Boards, and just need to read and re-read the protocols and rules over and again: they’re just not sticking in my brain. I know when I get them “done” (writing is never “done,” it’s only “due”) I’ll feel better. Won’t I? Of course. I mean–there are other things to worry about, to do, to think, make, and bake.
And one of those things is tracking the monsters’ movement. We know who they are: Trump, Miller, Bannon, Devos, Dr. Oz, Fox News, etc. We’ve identified them, and so much of our mental, emotional and physical energy is spent trying to guard ourselves against them. Nothing seems to stop them. Not the voters. The media. Or a sense of ethics. Watching my country disintegrate in front of my eyes is, well, I understand why Snickers bolted and bit my son.
Wishes, just for today: to solve a problem for a student. To point my face toward the sun. To breathe.
*April 16, 2020, 34 days in quarantine, 8 weeks of school left