Tuesday morning marked another reminder in how the world has changed.
Opened my eyes, double checked my work email and took a look at my personal phone to make sure nothing crazy had happened overnight.
A notice from a cousin in Israel caught my eye, his older brother had died. I thought about whether I should call, email, Whatsapp or use Facebook Messenger.
Stared at the noticed, wondered if it was Covid-19 related and thought about how Pesach is about to start, wondered what sort of funeral they would be able to have because the country is locked down.
Looked at the time again so that I could figure out how long before dad would wake up and remembered, he won’t.
I would have reached out anyway, but I felt a deeper obligation. The Vilner men in Israel made a point to telephone this past new year and had emailed holiday greetings.
Thirty-five years ago I had traveled all over Israel with them. We’re family.
Can’t make it out for the funeral but if I could go I would. Wondered again if they have to put things on hold because of the pandemic.
It is 2020, but life during a plague sometimes feels like 1080 to me.
There is a collective mania and exhaustion in the air from the quarantine that we seem to share and pass around via email, telephone and social media.
Several people have posted the five celebrity list in which you are supposed to list five celebrities you met and one you didn’t.
People are supposed to guess who the lie on your list is. My inclination is to play but with a list of more obscure people like the fraternity brothers who were in Less Than Zero and Bridesmaids.
I kind of like the idea of adding others to that list so that when people ask I can say Bubba played “Man Number 3” or “Dude on a bicycle.”
Sometimes people mix up the celebrities game with a list of jobs you had, again five real and one fake.
I like playing that one because I usually make up every answer.
Occasionally I try to hear the old man’s voice so that I can hear him ask why I engage in nunsense.
Not quite two years since he walked into the cornfields, but in some ways it feels so much longer.
Another Passover Apart
If I thought hard enough about it I expect I would determine the last Pesach seder I had with both of my parents was in 2016.
I moved back to Texas in August of that year and I know I spent it alone in 2017.
Pesach is one of my favorite holidays and quite a number of good memories are tied into it. If I am to be honest I don’t think the seders of the past few years have been particularly good and not just because I was alone in 2017.
Don’t particularly feel like digging into all of the reasons why or discussing how some of that probably ended up helping things for this moment in time.
If and when I come back to this post I expect I’ll recognize that I was neither upset nor happy as I wrote this post.
Not really ambivalent either, just a little worn out.
Call it part and parcel of living through a crisis while working at home.
Put in another four miles on the road today, plus a bunch of push ups but I don’t feel like I am getting as much out of the workout as I hope or want to.
Is it because I am well past 35 or some other reason?
Does it matter?
I don’t know, perhaps a bit.
I feel better physically and mentally, but my ego is bent that my jeans don’t fit as I want them to.
So I’ll call that a toss up.
“I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
I just came across the quote above so it is new to me but I expect quite well known to many others. It is the kind of thing that caught my eye because it can so easily be taken at face value and yet have so much more depth to it.
If you are going to live during a plague having such things to think about isn’t a bad thing because you inevitably end up with time on your hands to think.
There is only so much time during the day to smack the cultists who make stupid and naive excuses for the failure in the White House.
I won’t completely ignore them because there is some merit in reminding people that it is important to hold leadership accountable for utterly failing to prepare for a known situation.
Nor can you stop reminding them the lack of a coherent, strategic and national plan is a fundamental component of why things are mucked up right now either.
But you can’t spend all your time on that because you lose brain cells with some of it and there are ways you can make something out of this time.
Going to be a different kind of seder this year, always was going to be.
But this time, well it is going to be memorable for all sorts of extraneous reasons beyond the obvious.
Here is hoping meaningful is part of those.