The Year That Fell Off the Calendar
Rockaway, September 29th, 2020
The Day of the first Presidential Debate/ The Tuesday after Trump’s Tax Revelations/ Half a Year into the Pandemic/ Children back at NY Public Schools/ Cases Rising in Ireland and many parts of NY
Bless me reader for I have sinned. It has been 270,000 random thoughts since my last submission. I did not show love when I wished a one car collision for the speeding prick in the Audi weaving between traffic on Interstate 87…
These are trying times. I feel we all deserve a medal for still trying. I miss my band. I miss your faces. I miss fearless hugs. I miss crowded venues. I miss half empty venues. I miss surprise encounters. I miss random sightings on the subway and stories from the street. I miss hearing words in languages I can’t place. I miss Vietnamese sandwiches and Belgian beer. I miss counting my tips in cash. I miss feeling like I had any grasp on the wheel. I miss believing there was a wheel. I miss believing there was a road. I miss feeling secure in the knowledge that surely, other people probably know what they’re doing, they must, right?
How are you? I am alright. Today, I feel well. Saoirse is sleeping. Some chores have been done. It’s raining. I feel okay. Some days are worse than others. Most days are better than the worst. Somedays are great. I have struggled in this time. I have felt fine. Then I have felt defeated. I have felt overwhelmed. I have felt confident. I have felt despair. I have felt homesick. I have felt fury. I have felt compassion. I have felt lucky. I have felt rage. I have felt grateful. I have felt supported. I have felt again, overwhelmed. A year on pause. A slow moving malaise. I am alright, though, how are you?
There’s a Trump flag at the end of our street. Same guy has a blue lives matter flag and a ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ flag. . “Bless his heart” , he seems to be finding solace in flags. I see the same man bringing lunch and cigarettes to the Hispanic men working on his roof. Confusion. Which is it neighbour? Do you want their children in cages or do you want them fixing your house? Ah, both. There is aggravation in the air. Denial the size of Greenland floating in a sea of “Not my problem”.
You know all this.
I heard we have 30,000 thoughts a day. I read it in a piece about mindfulness. So I “heard” it, cos I was reading mindfully. It suggested there’s space to be mindful in all situations. Even driving. So yesterday, driving back to NYC from the Catskills, I practiced mindfulness in the face of countless reckless drivers by repeating the mantra:
“Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there, Look at that asshole, there…”
Perhaps not entirely in the spirit of the Mindfulness article I read, but it helped.
(I did it to the tune of “One Green Bottle” but you can choose your own melodic adventure. )
The Livestreams are a quiet room of solace in this noisy storm for me. A few hours a week where I feel like I am seeing old friends. Putting on a somewhat clean shirt and tuning my guitar. Lending a sense of creative purpose to a year that’s spilled out from corners of the confidently numbered calendar.
There’s a debate tonight. Should I watch it? Are you watching it? Did you watch it? I know it will annoy me. I’ll probably watch it anyway. That seems to be the mood.
This will be my first Presidential election as a voter in USA. All the Hail Marys and all the Our Fathers, in all the languages, in all the religions, that this sorrowful mystery, too, shall pass.
Thank you for reading, thank you for listening,
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