…First: being in the incubator denies you your life for a time but can give back a different perspective. Cliché, but all the same, true. It can be a time to reevaluate satisfaction, and I am so, so curious to see how the world will step back into itself once it is safe out there. Spending 60 consecutive days at home inspires a productive kind of modesty and shuffles around your ideas of indulgence and austerity. Nearly everything I own? Unnecessary. Take it away. But baking that single chocolate chip cookie every night in the toaster oven? I’d rather die than stop. How will I know the day happened without the cookie? Could tomorrow even arrive without it? Sacraments get invented during lean times like this.
Second: that the marrow of life lives beyond novelty in the unexceptional. I say this a lot: “the simple things are worth doing well, because they happen every day.” It is my mantra because I am the king of forgetting it. Any goodness that comes to me during the time of Covid will be by attending to what happens each day. The dishes pile up and the dishes get washed. They pile up and get washed. Isn’t that remarkable? It’s today and then today, then today, and today and today.
And third: hooooly shit have I let my life get filled with convoluted and inessential things, thoughts, and methods since those six astronaut months. Now that I’m back in the incubator and feeling the austerity of isolation with the rest of the world, I realize: leanness agrees with me. I can do this, I know this, I am good at this. But I am forgetful, and sheltering at home shouldn’t be necessary to recognize and address the ways I have been inattentive, complacent, sloven, slack, withholding, feeding the trap, and using complexity and distractedness as an armor for fearful ego. Beyond this, there is a life that is smaller, tighter, looser, and more giving.
I haven’t really worn shoes in almost two months. I am watching my feet relax into a new shape. I hope the same is happening to my mind. Time for dishes. Time for a cookie. It was a today! Today today today today today.