Sunday, September 20, 2020

Moving in Motion

 I've moved from the Midwest to the Northeast.

Moving is motion.

It was set in motion over a year ago.

In the year-and-a-half since I said I wanted to move, so many things in the world snatched my breath away.

January 2020 was the kickoff of what was supposed to be a huge celebration year for me and my family. It was my sorority centennial, two of my children were graduating, my husband and I were celebrating a big double digit anniversary, our first daughter was turning eighteen, college was looming, so many things we had planned. 

Then, like everyone, our world stopped.

Almost as if we were watching a slow motion movie in reverse, we could see the year become one long calendar page of not-moving.

It started on March 5.

That was the date the first Covid-19 case came to our suburban region. There was still so much unknown about it, we weren't in the Northeast at the time, we hadn't been to Italy, the ones who brought it in had.

My girl was a writer for her school newspaper and it was the middle of a presidential primary, the election was to be that coming Tuesday, March 9. She had a Press assignment to go downtown to cover a candidate that a lot of her generation really liked. It was the last freeish carefree photo I took of her before everything changed.

They had a trip that we still let them go on. No one had any clear understanding of this thing or how it spread. Some of my sorority members and I joked about people not washing their hands, like it was a normal part of our all the time, just like wiping cart handles. Information and misinformation was spreading fast.

Everything was changing faster than we could keep up and a spreading doom was looming.

By March 11, there was trepidation and cancellations started coming in fast. Our girls still went on their orchestra competition, the place they were going was not open to the public and they had worked so hard. It was their last sister trip where they were carefree.

Then, the world seemed to stop. Spring trip plans became watching the news, the death count had not hit even 500, toilet paper and hand sanitizer suddenly became hot commodities.

When I look at my calendar now, well into September, I wonder about all the stillness, the moving as non-moving that ensued in those months.

Our family still found ways to find joyful moments in quarantine school for the girls, in birthdays and anniversaries not with friends and family, in quiet graduations and new phones so we could chat across country. We wore comfy clothes and our dry cleaning bill plummeted, we were working and studying at home.

The vast movement of life kept going, from protests over the murders of innocent people who were running (Ahmaud) and sleeping (Breonna) and just living (George) to a summer of so much hate and violence that it was hard to not see it all as a pandemic. The list of names grew just as long as the numbers of those who succumbed to this take-no-prisioners virus.

And those who were charged with the care of the county were still on their almost four-year-war against everyone but a narrow nationalist few.


Movements of bodies and people risking bodies for liberation.

And the zoom went on.

I work up and began to wonder at what will the remaining months of this year bring. 2020 has taken so much from so many. My sister, the king of Wakanda, even RBG could not go on, may her name be a revolution.

It was perhaps her death on Rosh Hashanah, the seemed to wrap 5780 (Jewish year) up in that box we want to just tuck away because the pain of it is too much.

Like many, I spent my Friday night into Saturday in just stunned numbness. I'm in the Northeast and too far from that spontaneous vigil outside the Supreme Court that was in memory of one who sought for justice for so many of us.

So many of us who could not move anymore. 

We were stilled.

So many who count so much for this year.

Then, we moved, ourselves, our grieving had to be action.

Out came the credit cards and checkbooks to make her most fervent wish our most fervent hope.

Justice and righteousness would meet, it would mean something, this entire year would mean something. Lives, over 200,000, now, simply did not vanish and there not be something. We who lost couldn't even grieve, but Friday, somehow brought us a moment we need to stop moving. To be still. Still with all that 2020 had done and then decide.

Just like we decided to say yes to a place we had never been before and really did not know a soul, we have to decide on stepping out for life, taking a chance for the future. 

Moving in motion. Is motion. Is active. Is intentional.

Nothing still or stagnant about it.

For moving is life.

And as long as we have it, we will do whatever we can to protect it for everyone.

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