Time is an Illusion
This week has been a study in relativity. I have not taught a class with students since mid March, we are a mere 6 days from May and I cannot adequately explain what happened to April. Day 21 of fever, so it is accurate to say I slept through the lion share of April. I look at the pile of books I have consumed, the Netflix and HGTV I have watched; clearly a lot of time has passed. (Lisa Genova, (newly discovered) and Fredrik Backman (rereads) are the winners of quarantine reading, Unorthodox on Netflix, and honestly I just like the before and after aspect of HGTV- any show will do).
Time has passed relatively quickly, but as Einstein says time is an illusion.
I feel this most clearly when I wake up and haven’t taken my taken my medication during an early early morning wake up and back to snoozing. This medication requires an hour of lag time before eating or drinking. That hour is long, a lifetime; time stands still. It is why I am writing this now on my phone, lying in bed, I cannot eat, and I am hungry for my butter delivery system aka toast, my coffee ,and 2/3 chocolate kisses breakfast... (place 1 kiss in mouth and let the black coffee melt the chocolate... your welcome.) I will say starting the day with an intentional pause is not bad, it often creates space for meditation, and a real appreciation for just getting on with the day.
This was a week of some sad and endless days; yet, days of sweetness and gratitude. My old and admittedly grouchy old lady cat, Daisy was dying, and though she is old and a little sickly, it felt like an affront in addition to all that is happening. My cat was on her way out and I felt like Job. For three days she ate nothing and barely drank. She slept coma-like in her chair, cuddled in a blanket, occasionally whimpering but not getting up. I was on a deathwatch. I tried to get water in her, but nothing much.
Hooper, the world ‘s best dog and BFF to Daisy, stayed under the chair talking to her, trying to nudge her awake and generally being the friend we all need in this world. Night 2 into day three of no food, I sat by Daisy petting her, telling her what a wonderful cat she was , and trying to get a little water in her. I expected to find her passed and at peace in her chair when I got up. Instead I found a Lazarus cat, awake and looking at me when I walked into the living room. The few drops of water must have helped, or perhaps it was all the Hooper love. Whatever the reason, the minute Daisy saw her friend Hooper she jumped out of the chair and tried to walk to him, only to collapse. To say I was not up for the drama doesn’t begin to cover it. With tears in my eyes, and Hooper hovering over his buddy, I tried to get the patient to drink in a little more water. In desperation I stuck her little snout in the water; nothing, and then, a little pink tongue taking a tentative lap. All at once, she was slurping down the water so quickly I had to take it away, and then, back to sleep. Two brutal hours passed, Hooper and I watching over her. And then ,Daisy for the win, she stood up, cuddled her friend Hooper. He coaxed her to her food bowl, and before eating, she gave Hoops a kiss on the nose.
It sounds too good to be true, but I was there and lived the whole thing in slow motion. And being me of course documented the whole thing. And no, Daisy didn’t/ doesn’t have coronavirus. Once she was up and about I found a leg wound hidden by her long hair, infected but now healing nicely with Neosporin.
Daisy used up another life and at fifteen, I don’t think she has many left. I think of how lucky she was, her best friend at her side, and someone ready to give her everything she needed. How different for so many now. I think with sadness and horror of all the people who are dying alone. The tragedy of loved ones kept away, no hand to hold, no final I love you. So, I am begging everyone to keep patient, keep wearing masks, keep social distancing and have common sense. By the time major restrictions have been lifted we will have sheltered in place for two months. Such a long time to be isolated; such a short time to save lives. Yes, the economy is shot, sports are gone, churches are closed and the saddest of all for me: no spelling bee.
All this pales knowing we are saving lives; hopefully we are learning lessons too. We have new definitions of what essential workers are, maybe compensation can be more commensurate with that title. We are once again seeing the disparity of health care and treatment, for minorities and the economically disadvantaged. Yet, people are protesting holding signs about needing haircuts, and we have a leader (see video below) who is now actively dangerous. I hate politics, and try to avoid it, but now is the time to show we are better than this, and certainly smarter.
I asked my mom how she was doing a couple of days ago. She has no idea I have been sick, as I feel there is no need to worry her. She told me she was bored and moldering away in her house. She makes me laugh, moldering, and English is her second language! She then said she really had nothing to complain about; she was healthy, her family was healthy, she has her house and plenty to eat, being bored wasn’t the worst thing. So wise words from Mamacita Maria and Einstein. Time is an illusion, it flies, it crawls, it passes. And while you may be moldering too, there are far worse difficulties than boredom.
So tell your people you love them, hug who you can, enjoy the sun and stay well. We will be together soon, and how beautiful that will be.