When I planned this blog, I thought I knew who you would be, Reader. I thought the blog would come to the attention of people who live somewhere near route 117, because I would mention place names along the road, and you would stumble across the blog as you searched for Verrill Farm, Bolton Orchards, Brigham Farm, Kalon Farm, the Assabet River, the Sudbury River, and Nine Acre Corner, not to mention Leominster, Maynard, and a million places in Waltham. I would be aware of those places because I would visit them myself in the course of my ordinary commuting life, and the daily events of commuting would spur my writing.
Although I don’t know you, I thought that at least some of those shared experiences would provide a bridge between us. And, if you are someone who thinks about God, even if you think church is utter nonsense, maybe you would read, because you find the blog interesting.
None of that happened. In February and early March, while I was picking my way through the intimidating process of setting up a blog, the world as we knew it ended. By the date of my first post, most of us weren’t commuting anywhere. I haven’t driven to my office since March 16 and don’t expect to again until January, 2021, or later. That’s if I still have a job by then. What about you?
If you are at home, are you working in comfort with your paycheck still being deposited automatically? Or are you wide awake at night and tied up in knots during the day, because your business is shuttered, or you were laid off, or your income one way or another is nowhere near what you need it to be? I can’t write about that as a shared experience because we are in many different situations and I don’t want to write like a presumptuous nitwit about what you’re going through. I pray for you, though, even though I don’t understand prayer or God.
You know I’m grieving. No, I’m not over it. I don’t know why You gave me a gift and then took it away. I have done every accepting, trustful, forward-facing thing that I can think of, good soldier that I am, and still I realize day by day that the ground has dropped away. I hate You.
I thought my readers would be local, but despite my best, probably ridiculously clumsy, search-engine-optimization efforts, I think it is safe to say that no one local has found the blog because of place names. Instead, my readers are global, having found this page through Twitter. I’m honored that anyone would read for any reason, and it thrills me to see that someone has stopped by, and to see where in the world they are.
But I’m still going to anchor my writing in the life that is shared along route 117, because being specific helps me avoid spouting vacuous generalities, mostly.
I’m just so sad, all the time, even when I’m laughing my head off. I bet you are, too.
July 19, 2020 COVID-19 Infections and Deaths