• Joy

AMIDST THE CHAOS

I finally got outside. I was sick with a fever and flu symptoms etc (couldn’t get a test so don’t ask) and didn’t leave my apartment for over 2 weeks.


It was wonderful to see the sky and the flowers.

And also weird. Masked, trying to calculate the moment w

hen Jogger or Veering Toddler will cross my path, swerving away, catching my breath til I’m away from everyone.


It reminds me how messed up everything is right now and I head back inside almost wondering if the world even exists anymore. I’ve been trying to keep things cheerful and the emotions moving for the four inhabitants of our world within these walls, but then it hits me. Maybe it feels like the world has stopped moving, because it has? I try to ground myself again and again but never truly settle because, well, everything is unstable now.


We are in the belly of this whale.


The circumstances are unique but I recognize almost everything about how it feels when the world (as you know it) crashes down without warning and then disappears altogether. You start to wonder if that Before Time was just a dream. In some ways, this is easier because we’re all experiencing it at the same time. I don’t have to pretend I have no idea what’s going on or that my head isn’t always spinning — because we’re all in it.


Aside from losing my religion (which for me also meant beloved family relationships, friends, community, confidence, sense of how the world works, identity, self, basically everything but Joe Gabriel #Miracle) Yeah, apart from that, the last time my life (and the whole structure of humanity) felt this impossible was when we had our second baby. Suddenly, nothing about our life made sense. Joe went right back to work and I was alone almost all the time (see above). The kids ALWAYS needed opposite things at the same time and they ALWAYS needed ALL OF ME. It was absolutely one of the loneliest, most soul stretching times of my life.


Both times (and really any time I’m in the belly of the beast, facing challenges or unrelenting grief or periods of depression) I have had to chart a new path, with my past screaming in my ears: you’re wrong. These days, the emotional muscle memory takes me back there.

Except now there's a new miracle, I can barely hear that voice that used to drown everything else out. I finally know I’m not doing it wrong because it hurts. I know this is LIFE. Some days just hurt like hell.


I listened to this song over and over while I anxiety cleaned the bathroom. The one thing that grounds me now is committing fully to the present, whatever that means or feels. And knowing the one thing I want our little world within these walls to remember about this time: we did not give up on love today.


“Orpheus" Come by the fire Lay down your head My love I see you're growing tired so set the bad day by the bed And rest a while Your eyes can close You don't have to do a thing but listen to me sing I know you miss the world The one you knew The one where everything made sense because you didn't know the truth That's how it works Till the bottom drops out And you learn we're all just hunters seeking solid ground

Don't stop Trying to find me here amidst the chaos Though I know it's blinding There's a way out Say out loud We will not give up on love now No fear Don't you turn like Orpheus Just stay here Hold me in the dark and when the day appears We'll say We did not give up on love today I'll show you good Restore your faith I'll try and somehow make a meaning of the poison in this place Convince you love, don't breathe it in You were written in the stars that we are swimming in And it has no name No guarantee It's just the promise of a day I know that some may never see But that's enough If the bottom drops out I hope my love was someone else's solid ground

Don't stop Trying to find me here amidst the chaos Though I know it's blinding There's a way out Say out loud We will not give up on love now No fear Don't you turn like Orpheus Just stay here Hold me in the dark and when the day appears We'll say We did not give up on love today


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© 2020 by Joy Gabriel