I so often dream about babies, specifically not being able to protect one. I suppose that is my greatest fear on earth- the inability to protect a child. Even my grown-up children. When I think about Lily being at work in the grocery store or Jessie being at work in the hospital I have to just shut the thoughts down because there truly is nothing I can do to protect either one and to obsess about that fact would lead to madness.
But of course babies are the most vulnerable of all and I can remember that the first emotion I had when Hank was born was an unbelievably powerful need to protect that child. And my dream-babies represent all of my babies, the grown ones and the grandchildren, too. And in these dreams, even as I struggle in one dangerous scenario or another, there is generally a baby or a child or children that I must keep safe. I suppose this has been uppermost in my mind since Hank was born or perhaps even when my baby brothers were born and I fell so in love with them and became one of their caretakers.
The dream may have been triggered by comments left on a White House Facebook post last night by assholes who are overjoyed at being able to go out into the world. One comment especially stunned me for its overwhelming ridiculousness.
"Finally got to have a sit-down dinner at Denny's!"
Because I have an evil demon in me I replied to that comment with, "Seriously? You'd risk your life and others to eat at Denny's?"
The person replied, "I choose not to live in fear."
To which I said, "While you were making choices, seems like you could have chosen a better restaurant."
Oh yes. I am so funny, so witty, so droll.
And then I went to sleep and dreamed of people eating and drinking and making merry while I was clutching an innocent child and trying to flee the contagion.
I keep thinking about the Masque of the Red Death.
I keep thinking about how many people voted for Donald Trump.
I keep thinking about how many of those people still support him.
I keep thinking about the huge number of people who have bought into the ridiculous myth of "the elite" which has come to mean anyone who still has a rational thought in their head.
I keep thinking of scientists and advisors to the so-called president who have been fired because they had the gall to speak the truth.
I keep thinking of the number of people who are sick and who are dying.
I keep thinking of the health care workers whose faces are permanently indented by the masks and protective wear they must don every day to try and stay safe as they work endless shifts to care for the sick and they dying.
I keep thinking of all of those whose faces bear those marks who still get sick.
I keep thinking of my children and my grandchildren.
Look what I found this morning in a tomato plant.
I can't recall ever seeing a spider like that in a web like that. As I watched her, she dropped down and wrapped a bug beneath her in silk and then scuttled back to spread herself out against the center of her web again. Her web reminds me of stitches patching an old shirt, of the thick place in a sock which has been darned. It reminds me of the rays emanating from the Virgin of Guadalupe in images of her.
It reminds me that there is still wonder.
The final reply I left to the commenter who finally got her sit-down dinner at Denny's and who chooses not to live in fear was that it has nothing to do with fear but everything to do with having the ability and compassion to protect the ones we love, our families, our communities, from unknowingly spreading this virus. I have no idea if she replied to that. What does it matter? Obviously, there is a huge gap between those who interpret respect and caution as fear, and those who interpret going out to eat now as showing bravery.
Sometimes it seems like not one damn thing has been right since the election of 2016. I'm not saying that if Hilary Clinton had been elected that we would never have seen covid 19 but I can damn well guarantee you that we wouldn't be dealing with it the way we are, which is with ignorance and political aims and dangerous policies.
No use wasting time on now-impossible possibilities.
But we can still dream of better times to come.
Maybe. I hope so. I really do.