I'm writing this on August 31, 2020 - the 27th anniversary of the helicopter accident that took my fiancé's life. This morning I was filled with gratitude for ever having known him at all, with joy for the possibilities ahead in my life, with a tender perspective on what it is to be human - invested with a powerful heart and a delicate body. Then I checked my phone and saw a text from one of my dearest friends. Her mother died last night. I sent a text to another friend who's facing heartbreak with one of his children. A human life, fully lived, is anguished and beautiful.
The smoke is back, seeping through the windows into my apartment in San Francisco. Air Quality is at Orange today. Every time the smoke filters into my nose I think of all of the people who've lost their loved ones and homes in the wildfires that have become a raging, destructive annual feature of life in California. Our local crisis makes me think of all the people who've lost homes and loved ones in floods and tornadoes and hurricanes across the country this year. But of course this year is about a much larger, global crisis. As of 8.31.20, Worldometer says we've had 25,512,971 Covid-19 cases, 852,488 people have died, 17,808,809 people have recovered, 6,851,674 people are sick right now.
Who knows what September, October and November will bring for our bodies and our hearts. I'm thinking of the Philip Larkin poem that Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers (the best podcast in the universe), quotes so often. Here are the last lines of The Mower:
we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.