The Convergence of Emptiness

While last week felt surreal, this week has felt decidedly more real.  It seemed fitting that this week I noticed, for the first time all winter, that one of the old wooden granaries out back at my parents, a member of a row of cheery little buildings with faded red exteriors, had finally succumbed to years of derelict, it’s weathered plank roof having caved in under the weight of the heavy wet snow. It now sits sagging and diminished – altogether defeated – and looks terribly melancholic. Although it may not be the most sophisticated comparison, I think it’s fair to say that I feel the same; I had a hard week. Too often it felt like my world was caving in under the weight of the heavy reality of Covid-19 and the struggle against this collapse was exhausting. My patience was in short supply and I constantly felt frustrated. I was snappy. By Wednesday, I too felt altogether defeated. In a flashback to my maternity leave, I felt trapped in a world that is much too small.

On Thursday, while joining a yoga class put on by an instructor all the way in Oregon (I’m so thankful for technology like Zoom!), I was introduced to an idea that has been very useful to my understanding of those feelings. As Winter led us through a restorative practice, her aura of calm and wisdom-filled words helped me to take a small step towards acceptance. She explained that the feelings we are all experiencing are the result  of“micro losses,” which are the seemingly insignificant things that have been lost in the past several weeks. On an individual level, those micro-losses are completely manageable. However, their convergence can create overwhelming grief.

But these feelings of loss about seemingly small things are alive. When we try to kill them we miss their song. -Sabrina Friesen

It has been my experience that it’s the convergence of emptiness that makes me so sad; when I wake up and don’t have a reason to shower and straighten my hair and get dressed in something other than yoga pants and hustle to get everything cleaned up because we have nowhere to go, my day feels scary and empty. That emptiness creates a vacuum, pulling a world and a life that was once full, teeming with work and activities and friends, into itself until there’s only a sliver left.

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