10/19/20, Before the Dawn
Well, here we are again. As I write this, the week begins, and every week I try to think of fun things to tell you, reports of where I’ve been, and as the saying goes “all roads lead to Rome”, back to Covid. I’m not going to fashion shows to report to you. I’m seeing them on video, with my hair a mess, wearing jeans and an old sweater, and the only spectators I am watching them with are my 3 Chihuahuas, who are no better dressed than I am at the moment. I am not eating at indoor restaurants, only on outdoor terraces, or open air restaurants, and it’s getting chilly at night, so I’m not dining out often. I haven’t been shopping lately, or been to a museum, or a movie (I’d rather watch at home). I haven’t flown anywhere since February (or seen my children, ugh, still, but travel still seems daunting.). I didn’t take a vacation this year, because my kids couldn’t come to Europe and it was dangerous to go home, so I couldn’t write about “My Summer Vacation”, and I’m seeing fewer friends and having lunch out less often than I’d like, and not entertaining at home, except for a few friends. For the moment, Covid seems to be running our lives. It is challenging scientists, politicians, religious leaders, and ordinary people like you and me. It invades our thoughts, our lives, cancels our plans, and makes ordinary activities a life and death decision. The only thing I am doing is writing more than ever before. And re organizing my closets. Again.
Covid has definitely given 2020 a bad name, and will be a bad memory for most people, and a tragic one for some. If you look more closely into each of our lives, some good things have happened, but the drumroll of Covid always in the background drowns out some of the happier sounds. For instance, in our family we’ve had 2 weddings since the beginning of the year. One, immediately pre-Covid, with dancing, touching, laughing, kissing, 150 guests, and everyone was carefree and had a ball. The second one, during Covid, postponed 3 times until the bride and groom finally gave up and got married alone with 2 strangers as their only witnesses, and no guests, and no family by their own choice. But they’re married now, and we’ll celebrate next year. One of my sons and his wife are expecting a baby. And we have two new puppies in the family (a miniature dachshund and a tiny teacup Yorkie. Lucy and Coco Monkey). Everyone is healthy, which is the greatest blessing of all. So some good things have happened, even with Covid going on. But there is no question, it’s distracting and scary as hell at times. And the daily uncertainty of what will happen next is unnerving us all. The sudden rise of numbers of cases all over the world is disconcerting to say the least. I try to keep everything as normal as possible, but some days are harder than others, especially far from my family, who have always been the mainstay of my life. It’s weird and a challenge to be on my own.
Family and friends in other cities report that their cities aren’t the same, look different, some sound grimly depressing. In Paris, one sees the opposite: everything looks normal, especially on beautiful sunny days, people are busy, the city is unchanged, but you know that the virus is out there lurking, a constant threat if you’re not careful, and everyone you see is wearing a mask (except teenagers who don’t care).
In a more religious vein, I am reminded of Bible stories, of Daniel surviving the lion’s den, of the Hebrew boys thrown into a blazing fire and came out of it, alive, unscathed “without even the smell of smoke on them”….David and Goliath. We will beat this in the end, ‘without the smell of smoke on us’. Nothing lasts forever, not even Covid. We just have to do our best to stay safe and wait it out, be sensible and not careless, mindful of others, and have the best life we can under the circumstances.
I write almost all the time, I have started needle pointing again, I have the neatest closets of anyone on the planet. I see friends when I can, in the safest possible circumstances. We can’t stop living, being, hoping. We have to keep our spirits up and reach out to others. We have to KNOW and believe that we will make it through this, and the current spike will go down again, and Covid will no longer be a threat one day.
I found 3 tiny butterfly costumes in a closet this weekend, and dressed my dogs up for Halloween. I’ve made a few forays out for Christmas shopping. I move paintings around in my apartment. I read and watch series on TV, but most of the time I write. This has gone on longer than we expected, but it will end. With darker colder weather, and shorter days, it makes things seem a little more grim, but as they say, “The night is darkest before the dawn.”
All I can tell you is that we know that dawn is coming, there will be an end to all this. Life goes on, even now, with its high points and its joys, its unexpected blessings and good news.
We have to join hands across the world and get through this, and fight to stay on top of the waves, and get back up when we get knocked down by a big wave. This storm will pass, and the sun will shine again. It is shining even now, we just have to look a little harder to see it. But all the good stuff is still there, love and hope, and babies are being born, and some wonderful treasured moments with the people we love. And sometime in the coming months, I’ll be telling you about a fashion show, we’ll be going to parties and weddings again, and family gatherings, and hugging each other, and not standing 6 feet apart with a mask on. The dawn IS coming, maybe sooner than we know, and I am clinging to the belief that the best is yet to come. We are going to enjoy normalcy SOOOO MUCH after all this, ordinary pleasures will seem like miracles to us. Life is a miracle, even now.
And in the meantime, I send you happy thoughts, as we hang on tight— Have a GREAT week (and to hell with Covid)
all my love, Danielle
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Great shoes! Covid really has restructured our lives (hopefully not permanently). I keep thinking of Gone with the Wind (a civilizaion gone with the wind), and I never could identify with that sentiment before. But these days I really can. I imagine telling my grandchildren: We went to concerts, thousands of people at once, and no one was afriad. We went out to eat any meal, morning, noon, or night, and never though we would get sick. Thousands of us at a time crammed into stadiums and watched sports. We watched movies on this giant screen, sat close together, and ate popcorn.
Although I’ve been blessed to have some of my children in town, there are so many things I had planned to do that didn’t happen: Ashtabula Beach Glass Festival, Cleveland International Guitar Festival, Canifeld Fair, Cleveland International Film Festival, vacations, beach time…
I pray that God will remove this disease from our planet and that we can go back to life “as normal.”
Thank you so much dear Danielle for uplifting our spirits
With so much love, Antoinette
Reading your blog brings a smile into my face while going through the darkest period of my life, going through separation to divorce and dealing with my daughter’s multiple eye surgeries. Your words of “life goes on” are inspiration and reminder to all that we must keep going regardless.
Thank you, Danielle.
Liked the reference to Bible story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. I bought a beautiful oil painting in Paris one year of that scene. I hope to be reunited with it someday.
Most people think the significance of the Bible story is that Daniel got out. But the real significance is that divine Love was right there with him and he was safe.
Remember the quote about hope: “Hope is like the sun. If you only believe in it when you see it, you’ll never make it through the night.” This is the time to show up for the hard work by not giving up nor giving into despair.
Keep shining, Danielle!
God bless us all,
Your posts are always uplifting and I love reading them. I truly hope that you get to see you kids soon. May God bless you. Love to you, Mary