I was telling someone I'm in a stint of books about hard things - dystopias, traumas, grief, cross cultural parents. And they are each useful and good, and are mostly all lined with hope but sometimes it's hard to keep going even with the promise of hope.
And well, it's hard when the world itself is as it is. I thought I had kept my expectations realistic, but there are things I thought I could maybe do this fall that are clearly not possible right now. And that's sad.
And my worries do not include in person work right now. I have friends who have already been back to in person work, who are being asked back because someone wants to try, or because there are financial stakes to being there in person.
The project I'm working on right now I am dealing entirely with people who have lost someone so I am dealing with a lot of people in every phase of grief, including the I think everyone is lying to me and everything is terrible phase. It is a really great project. It's using a lot of my skills in ways I hadn't flexed in quite this manner in a while. But it's hard.
Grief is hard. Trauma is hard. One of the things I am reading rattled off the stats and between war, assault, intimate partner violence, and addiction, we are a society that is already carrying a lot of trauma and adding a pandemic just means another layer to that.
Hope can often be placed alongside words like fluffy and sparkly, words that connote sillness and a lack of seriousness. But hope is incredibly serious business. Looking around at the cracks and issues in our society and being willing to roll up sleeves and work on making things better is serious stuff. Gathering enough food and cozy blankets to feed and snuggle everyone in your household is also serious stuff. Survival, as this pandemic has reminded us, is not a given. Doing the work to keep going requires a complete toolset and hope is an important part of it.