The world is rife with panic and pandemic.
People are sick. People are dying. The COVID-19 respiratory illness is sweeping across the globe. No place will be spared.
Italy is quarantining. Have the Italians stopped their millennia-old practice of bussing on both sides of the face in greeting?
I bet they have. Kissing is for the inviolate.
The macrocosm is a mess. In the microcosm, in the tiny whimsical, poignant slice of All-That-Is that is my personal life, a chaos stew bubbles.
One friend died of a drug overdose.
Did she intend to die?
I was close to her during grad school. I remember her talent, her intellect, and her bright smile. Could I have done anything else to help her?
A beloved family member succumbs to cancer, by degrees. He's in palliative care now. It's hard to watch a good man die.
A beloved friend is mentally absent. Something has claimed her wonderful intelligence. She tells me the same stories over and over, sometimes beginning the anecdote mere seconds after finishing it.
I have pulled away from a friend whom I love. I can not tolerate her lack of truthfulness and lack of consistency right now. Usually I can shrug off her failings because I remember my own flaws, and because I have in mind her many wonderful qualities: her extraordinary generosity, her capacity for lovingkindness, her playfulness. But right now, the lack of truthfulness and lack of dependability feel like too much chaos, in a world that is seething with chaos.