Tag Archives: isolation

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 14

Standard

It’s almost 11pm. I am tired. Right before I carried my sleeping son from my bed to his bed, I checked out the prompt over at NaPoWriMo and figured I’d just wing this one.

๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช
What It’s Like Being A Single Mom During a Pandemic
๐Ÿ—๐Ÿญ๐Ÿข๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿค๐Ÿญ๐Ÿข๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿค๐Ÿข๐Ÿข๐Ÿข
I drive into the city to pick up my kids.
The city doesn’t act like a city anymore.
It looks uncertain and confusedโ€”
like the rest of us.
It looks like it is waiting for somethingโ€”
like the rest of us.
๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ’ป
We get back home and I fiddle with my computer
until I successfully get my fourth grader into her online class meetup.
I bring her snacks.
She tells me she isn’t supposed to eat during online learning.
(I think to myself, Why in the world not?)
I watch her drawing during the online class,
just like she does when she attends class in person.
I mean, just like she used to do,
back when kids went to school…
I fiddle with my other computer
until I successfully get my second grader into his online class meetup.
I bring him snacks.
He chews with his mouth open
and sprays bits of apple on my laptop.
I am not amused.
I attempt to read while they finish their online class meetups.
I am only partially successful.
๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒท๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ
I take my kids out on a walk.
It’s a beautiful, cool day.
My ten year old is already fifteen in her tone, body language,
and declarations of existential angst.
I am not amused.
I attempt empathy, patience, kindness, and compassion.
I attempt to enjoy my walk in spite of my ten year old’s angst.
I am only partially successful.
๐Ÿง๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿง๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿง๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ๐Ÿง๐Ÿฐ๐Ÿฎ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿฌ
Back home my idea to bake brownies
devolves into a fight over who gets to set the oven temperature.
I am not amused.
I again attempt empathy, patience, kindness and compassion
and am mostly unsuccessful.
I am disapointed, annoyed, frustrated and depressed.
I want to scream.
๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿ’ป
Another mom tells me that her husband is annoying her
by sharing his two cents about their kids’ remote learning,
and then going back to his remote working
while my friend attempts to harangue their kids
into actually attending to their remote learning.
She is not amused.
I am suddenly glad that I am single.
๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’๐Ÿฅฆ๐Ÿฅ™๐Ÿฅ•๐Ÿฅ’
I make dinner with as much efficiency as I can muster.
We eat well.
The kids devour their dessert.
We sit together working on our own things.
My ten year old draws.
My eight year old works on a puzzle.
I play with my singing bowls.
We are very successful.
๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒ”๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐Ÿƒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ
We get ready for bed.
I read to them a few pages
of The Phantom Tollbooth.
My son passes out.
My daughter goes back to her room
to read some Harry Potter.
I muster up the strength to carry my
eight year old into his room.
I pour him into his bed and tuck him in.
My ten year old is still reading.
I tuck her in and turn off the lights.
She smiles and says I love you.
I am extraordinarily successful.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 7

Standard

Well, it looks like I should start giving myself a limit on time spent on the NaPoWriMo site. Between yesterday’s prompt and today’s, I probably spent two good hours poring over the linked content. Yesterday’s Bosch painting really sucked me in, but so did today’s bizarre news with catchy titles. And of course that led me down another rabbit hole! I’m going off prompt today…
๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ๐Ÿƒโœจ

It’s good enough just to breathe.
Bonus points for bathing.
Bonus points for dressing up like you’re going to work…
But it’s totally understandable
if all you want to do is stay in bed.
Sometimes I feel that way too.
Just remember that you deserve your own kindness,
gentleness and understanding.
Remember that you aren’t alone,
even when you’re feeling lonely.
Be generous with your praise;
everybody needs some kindness
right about now.
Mostly, just trust…
Trust that everything will turn out ok.
It will, you know…
Everything will turn out just fine.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 5

Standard

Over at the NaPoWriMo site, today’s prompt inspired me to think a little differently. I like the idea of twenty little poetry projects.

Only birdsong can save me now.
Taking no joy in the television,
growing tired of virtual chats,
I am the introvert who now
desperately yearns
to be in a crowded restaurant.

They flutter around the birdfeeder
hopping, singing, pecking.
Their togetherness is so normal,
so beautiful.
Only their song can save me.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 3

Standard

Hello friends. Today is day 3. Except it’s close to midnight, which means it’s almost tomorrow. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was all about using a rhyme generator and playing around with sound, but I’m not a very rhyme oriented poetโ€”maybe I should try to be more enthusiastic about rhyming? At any rate, I must admit I am totally not in the mood to attempt to generate a word bank right now, so I’m going rogue on this one.
๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ๐ŸŒฒ๐ŸŒณ

Too Many Words

I don’t need to search for words. I have too many in my head right now.
Virus. Curve. Shelter. Pandemic. Isolation. Crisis. Collapse. Fear.
I attempted to keep myself busy with yard work today.
It’s what normal people do on a normal spring day.
I even got my kids involved.
(Part of me was thrilled to have them outside.
If it were a regular day they would have been in school).
I found myself in tears hours later,
after my kids went to their dad’s house for the weekend,
and I found myself alone, knowing I’d see no one else for days.
Quarantine. Ventilator. Masks. Intubation. Social Distancing. Death.
I call my sister in tears. I tell her that I’m not passing the yoga test,
that I’m not doing this as well as a yoga teacher should do a pandemic.
I’m hearing the inner critic, she said. More tears.
I distracted myself with rare vintage footage of Terrence McKenna,
me and 5000 people on Crowdcast…totally alone, watching together.
I guess that this is how I’ll get through this.
I’ll face my aloneness. Like everyone else in the world.*





๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ๐ŸŒฑ๐ŸŒฟ
*I feel a need to acknowledge those of you who are shut inside with people you don’t necessarily want to be with, my heart goes out to you. Maybe my situation (days of isolation) sounds like paradise. Well, I’ll breathe for you as you long for solitude, and I ask you to please breathe for me as I long for company. I’ll take in this peace and quiet, and I’ll radiate this feeling out into the whole world for you to feel. My friends who are with loved ones…please take in your feelings of warmth, being seen, being loved, and radiate this feeling out into the whole world for all of us who are lonely, that we might feeled loved even in our loneliness. Thank you. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿปโค๏ธ๐ŸŒˆ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป

On The Eve of My Mid-Pandemic Birthday

Standard

Suddenly, normal was gone.
My First Response: YOGA!
I told everyone how to be yogic about this,
how to breathe, take it one day at a time, be grateful,
how to stay in the present moment,
how to be in one’s body, feeling,
loving the ones we’re at home with,
delighting in nature, the rhythms of the day.
Then my kids went back to their dad
and I found myself alone.
My Second Response: NOOOOOOOOOOO!
I wish I hadn’t watched all those episodes of The Walking Dead.
I wish I had known a Pandemic was coming.
I wish I had decluttered my house first.
I wish I had met my soulmate before the Pandemic,
so that we could be inside, together,
sitting by a sweet fire, enjoying a Quaran-tini.
I wish I had been well-established in my dreamhouse
and my dream work and my dream life
before the Pandemic,
I wish I had been so busy being successful
that I would actually need a vacation
and all this social distancing now.
Alas, all I can do is look back and say
Lorien, you were barely scraping by.
You were tired all the time.
You didn’t have time to do anything except work and mother.

Maybe it’s ok to be alone on my birthday during a pandemic.
Maybe I’ll celebrate this breath. This life.
This being here regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Howling

Standard

So tired.
Kids came back today,
and it took all my energy
to help with homework,
make dinner,
and get them to bed.
(And tidy and take the trash out
and moderate arguments
and put them back in bed five times.)
I want…
I want to cry out like a wolf,
I want to be heard by other single parents everywhere.
I want them to respond to my cries,ย 
my messy wolf pack,
saying You arenโ€™t alone.
I hear you.
I feel this way too.

Howling in the dark together
raising a ruckus
strength in numbers
Can we change this heaviness together?
I donโ€™t know.
Iโ€™ll just keep howlingย 
until I can sink into sleep.ย 

What I Yearn For

Standard

I’m discovering that I need people to be happy.
I’m noticing that when I’m around people
I feel good.
I eat.
I laugh.
I feel happy.
But when I’m by myself,
I become depressed.
I don’t eat.
I feel worthless.
I’m trying to bring more
meaningful connection
into my life,
but connection takes time and energy.
And motivation.
How do I find the energy and motivation
to connect
when I’ve been alone for so long
that I’m feeling heavy and depressed?
What came first…the loneliness or the depression?
I sense that I’ve had this feeling for a long, long time.
Even as a child some part of me knew
I needed deep, meaningful connection,
and when I was made to be in groups
where only superficial connection was taking place,
I felt drained, listless.
I decided that I was better off by myself.
I labeled myself as an introvert,
and I’ve spent a lot of my life just wanting to be away from people.
But now I see a distinction to be made.
Connection is so much more
than being with someone for the sake of not being alone…
It’s being together with a sense of purpose,
engaging in co-evolution, exploration, sharing, growth.
Relating heart to heart, mind to mind, soul to soulโ€”
this is what I yearn for.

This Life

Standard

This life.
This tender, fragile, vulnerable life.
This perplexing, demanding, chaotic life.
This fulfilling
this disappointing
this crazy, ever-changing, remarkable,
normal, exceptional, precious life.
How my heart breaks for this life.
How my heart swells, bursts open,
bleeds for this life.
How I’ve had to be strong for this life.
How I am grateful, so grateful,
ever so grateful for this life.

********************
My heart is heavy tonight as I think of a dear friend’s partner who just last night succumbed to the story of his suffering and chose to bring an end to his time on this planet. I’ve been forthcoming about my own depression on this blog, imagining the peace that non-existence would bring. I feel so humbled and so shocked to hear that this brother took action on those same kinds of thoughts. In my darkest moments I’d always see my children’s faces and feel a deep conviction that I could not do that to them.

But this man had no children.

Recently my dear friend had wanted to reevaluate their relationship and had stepped back in order to redefine herself, her goals, values and priorities. I’m guessing that in the face of this change, he felt deeply lonely and believed it would always be this way. My heart breaks for him.

I remember that when my marriage ended I was flooded with feelings of worthlessness and shame. I kept wondering what I had done wrong, what was wrong with me. I kept asking what I could’ve done to avoid my husband leaving. I remember that feeling of loneliness and brokenheartedness, crying until I had no more tears, so much anger, the belief that the suffering would always be this intense. I remember the lonelieness and the pain of isolation.

But I was so fortunate. I had a therapist that I had been seeing for a while. I found my way into CoDependents Anonymous (CoDA) meetings. I had friends and family, and even though they didn’t always show up in the way that I wanted them to, they nonetheless provided support to get me through. And then there were countless beings out in my community, here on this blog, on FaceBook, on Instagram, on Insight Timer, in the yoga studio, teachers far and wide, mentors, guides and wise ones who provided words of encouragement, prayers, well-wishes to get me through the darkest moments.

I reached out so many times for help, and I got help, and still there were times that I just wanted it to be over. There were times that the pain was so intense that I didn’t want to have to live through any more of it.

So in a way I completely understand the reasoning behind this brother’s decision to just be done with it once and for all. I understand in a way that perhaps most people cannot possibly understand. And so I feel so shocked, so sobered, so humbled by this event. I want to be there for my friend. But there are no words that can make this better. Only breathing, one moment to the next, just taking care of basic things like eating a meal, taking a shower, trying to sleep, just one thing at a time.

Friends, hug your loved ones close. This life is so fleeting, so precious, and you may never know who is struggling on the edge of oblivion, trying to decide if they can keep going…

A Miracle for the Fourth

Standard

I was preparing myself
to be alone and miserable on the 4th.
No one had invited me to anything.
I was ready to feel angry at my ex
for leaving me and
taking all our friends with him,
angry because my kids are with him this year,
leaving me all alone.
But then I had a conversation with myself…
How do I want to feel?
I want to feel happy, connected.
Who could help me feel that way?
People who are earthy, who love nature,
who celebrate with music and healthy food.
Who do I know like this?

Hmmmm…
And then suddenly I remembered a friend
from kirtan and drum circles,
a friend with whom I sat in ceremony.
I felt vulnerable and pretty pathetic
having to ask, but I asked…
I asked if he was doing anything for the 4th,
and would it be okay for another person to tag along.
No pressure, I said, just thought I’d ask.
And he answered that he’s going to a gathering
at a friend’s house…a potluck, with a cacao ceremony
and kirtan…and he invited me to join the goodness!
YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
I have plans for the 4th.
It’s a miracle!
(HAPPY DANCE)

Listening To It

Standard

I feel lost, alone, directionless, uncomfortable.
What is my purpose?
It says: You have no purpose.
But why I am I alive?
It says: There is no reason. You should end it.
But what about my children?
It says: They’d be better off without you.
And my yoga students?
It says: You’ve been lying to them all along.
It’s time they knew the truth.

But surely this will one day get better?
It says: Not for you. You will never be happy.
But what about nature? The sun? The forest?
The cycles of life?
It says: What about them? You’re still depressed.
You’ll always be depressed. Face it. End it.

But I can’t do that to them. To my friends. My family.
It says: Why not? They don’t care. Not really.
Not enough to help you or save you.

I know there are other voices in my head.
Why is It the loudest?