Photo of hospital bed/Deposit Photo

Holding On In The Letting Go In A Pandemic: Not Alone in Isolation

Holding On In The Letting Go In A Pandemic: Not Alone in Isolation

By Lace Williams-Tinajero

Read Part 1 and Part 2  and Part 3 and Part 4 in this series

It’s another day of not knowing what day of the week it is.

From your hospital bed, you reflect on the child you once were. When you had trouble falling asleep because of everything on your mind, you lay stretched out on your back under the covers.

Winter followed autumn. To warm your cold hands and feet, you recall the soothing sensation of rocking back and forth.

You gazed upward long and still until a freeing sensation filled your body-mind. Darkness blinded your view of the ceiling, allowing your thoughts to escape the confines of where you chose not to be.

Like now, separated within the sterile confines of a place trying to save lives.

Your eyes as distant gazers imagined an omniscient, invisible mass filling all empty space. The expanse you pictured was as dark and endless as the void you feel separated from the healthy life you once lived.

It had no name and it never spoke, though perhaps your ritual of wanting proof of its existence, to speak to you, brought comfort.

Time passed. Days coalesced into weeks. Winter crossed over to spring. You outgrew your bunk bed. You continued to sleep curled up in a ball to feel safe and warm. When you couldn’t sleep, you stared hard into the black of the night, continuing your search for something to rescue you from what troubled you.

One night, whether imagination or revelation, a new figure began to take shape in your mind. With eyes opened wide, you sensed that this invisible being was like no other, that it was not a vast dark expanse in the universe, but a person.

Someone in your own likeness. Not darkness but dawn. Not chaos but creation.

One who would teach you to pick up your own cross. To accept what is so.

Night time was the safest time to ask this person, in your image, life’s unanswerable questions. Safeguarding your words in thought, each one took the form of the same question asked slightly different every time, the way scenes of a kaleidoscope change with each turn.

Why do I search the desert for water?

Why do I look to the ocean for land?

Why do I scale glaciers for fire?

Why do I climb the mountains for air?

Crisis follows silence.

If only you could figure out the exact formula to hear and to be heard. To understand and to be understood. To know and to be known.

Will I get through this?

Will I ever be myself again?

The merry-go-round of disillusion you are resisting reveals your teacher. Emmanuel.

God with us made manifest, and not simply in word and thought—for these fail to capture the full essence of experience—but as sheer presence offering assurance, “I am with you.”

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