50 days in. It’s only when you silence your own thoughts that you can hear the grief for what was and what, in my heart, I know isn’t coming back anytime soon: the casualness of friendship; the intimacy of the chance meeting; the mindlessness of getting lost in a crowd; the pleasure of a good meal in a crowded restaurant.

I’ve been fighting these thoughts for weeks now but it wasn’t until last night, when I Zoomed into a Wednesday mindfulness session led by minister, that I hear how hard I was working to strangle these thoughts and keep the grief at bay. I’m still holding it at arm’s length, but I can now see how alive this grief is, how it wants a piece of me, how sometime in this long, long summer to come, I’m going to hold it close.

The world has gone and turned itself inside out and I act like I can just adjust my glasses and proceed as usual. I need to rearrange my heart. Reorient my soul. Reground my faith. Reset my intentions. I’m afraid—terrified, to be honest—of what I might find. But the only path is through. Are we brave enough to enter the Upside Down? Who will come out the other end?

This is my prayer on a rainy night: that, frightened, we might encounter each other and embrace in the Upside Down, then come out the other side, arm in arm.

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