New Year Vaccine

*My apologies for accidentally posting a draft the first time. This one’s for real.

Remember those dreams of showing up at school unprepared for the test? Or worse yet, naked?

Last night I dreamed I showed up at a wedding forgetting there was pandemic. I hadn’t even brought a mask. I felt stupid, unprepared, and exposed. The dream made me wonder if our nightmares will change; will the kids of today dream they accidentally showed up for school instead of that they forgot to go?

And as long as I am drawing parallels, the slow and inadequate distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine reminds me of people going hungry. We have enough food, but somehow don’t know how to get it from point A to point B, so people starve.

The Chief Operations Officer for Warp Speed names the holiday season, winter weather and lack of communication for the great lags between acquiring the vaccine and releasing the vaccine.

Kudos to General Perna for taking responsibility for the confusion, and delay, but aren’t there always holidays and snow in the winter? Did this come as a surprise, impossible to plan for?

How is it that Amazon manages to get our frivolous crap items delivered to us in all sorts of weather, on weekends, and yes even on holidays, but the government can’t get their act together for the vaccine? (I know, I know, some of us have issues with praising Amazon. But let’s face it, for many of us, Amazon is the a-hole we can’t live without.)

I really do hate to start the new year off as a Negative Nelly. There truly is a lot to look forward to this year. There’s a vaccine! I have a book coming out! My niece is having a baby! And it is super easy for me to sit here and point fingers to The Very Important Men in charge. But OhMyGod guys, details! Planning! The unglamorous details are so important. Life or death for some. And a pandemic is making us a little….eager?

Can we hurry up just a little? Or a lot? The new year won’t be new for long. And we’re not getting any younger either.

Relevance

In the midst of a pandemic I get my first book contract and let the cognitive dissonance settle in.  I am elated!  It is meaningless! By the time the book is published, will the words I’ve written even matter?  In a world full of sickness and chaos, is art even relevant?

My husband and I go away to celebrate our 33rd anniversary.  He is reluctant in these times, but I’ve found us a private spot on Cape Cod, we pack a bag, some food, and we go.  On the drive down I am describing the adorable guest house I have secured for us. I am happy to escape the everydayness of our lives, the news, the impertinence of my writing.  It is called the Sweetest Little Suite, I tell him.

It has probably been renamed The Covid Cabin, he quips.

Don’t make me laugh, I say. There is nowhere to pee.

I know the state of the country, the world for God’s sake, is not funny right now.  It is dark and uncertain, but we need to laugh when we can because the crying will come too, if not for ourselves, for others.

It is freakishly warm for the middle of November, but we don’t see anyone else at the seashore except for maybe a few people sitting so far down the beach they are like large grains of sand, their movement almost imperceptible.

It starts off as a dare, me tempting my husband to jump into the crashing waves, and it ends with both of us running into the ocean, going under.  He disappears first and when he pops up he is shouting for me to hurry before the next wave drags me violently across the sand.  Shrieking, I dive in, my timing more a reflex of panic than any kind of strategy.

When you’ve been married this long, there aren’t many firsts you haven’t met; first home, first child, first move, job loss, illness. We’ve had them all.  But this- today- swimming in the ocean  in the middle of fall- for our November anniversary- this is a new first.

I emerge from the cold, invigorated. The sun warms my skin as it creates glitter across the water.  The reflection is spectacular; there is so much light.  I am insignificant, but at the same time connected to the brilliance of God’s creativity.

Fully present, mind and body in harmony, I take it all in. I see and feel the ocean, the world, as the most amazing work of art.

In this moment, the art is everything.