Finding one’s comfort when life is anything but normal makes food, sleep, and everyday existence seem like a long vacation to nowhere. Finding joy with uncertainty is a task made of cement bricks.
As the year closes, not in the cheerfulness of the upcoming holidays, but rather in an exhausted breath of anxiety, we are reminded (in just a few weeks) a new year will force us to change the calendars. Can we dare hope for a more optimistic lifeline than the frayed one we’ve been holding onto: preoccupied madness because of so many elephants in the room?
What will the new balance emerge in the NEW YEAR?
As I ponder my next project, I can’t allow the dredge of this year anchor my shadow. I want my next story to be about family, but not the cruelty, and harshness, and hopelessness, but rather a journey back together. I feel too much of this year has deteriorated the basic foundation of where we all came from… FAMILY.
Anger and hostility has replaced unity. Death has stolen, too soon, family members, who took for granted they would see each other again. Celebrations of traditions have been marred by political differences. When we peel back the skin and look into the beginnings, we are bound together by the seeds of who we are: family, friends, neighbors, and strangers we pass on the street. We all want the same things: a better life of belonging.
Sometimes it takes massive darkness, traumas, disasters, or COVID-19 to turn us inside out.
I’ve begun thinking how can I come out of 2020 better than I was? How can I look back at months of isolation and fear as a jumping-off point to be a better person? These answers are still lurking inside waiting to be unwrapped and discovered.
It’s important as a writer to believe.
My wish as this year of absolute madness ends: my laughter will return, and the creative daydreams will replace that old quilt.
So with my Kindle, because my library is closed, I began reading, as inspiration, stories written by other authors whom I’m sure have lived through at least one year of uncertainty—
100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, Edited by Lorrie Moore. In this edition, many of the stories selected by Lorrie Moore, herself a talented writer of short stories, are wonderful introductions to authors worth reading more of, such as James Baldwin, Mary Gaitskill, William Faulkner, Lauren Groff, Jamaica Kincaid, and Alice Munro.