Graze, Pray, Nap, Repeat – oh, and Curse

Spiritual Smart Aleck


There is a big snowfall here today, which is cheering, even though I will not be able to get up my driveway for days, not that I want to. Being snowbound is not that different from isolation, so not a change.

Coming up on my one-year anniversary of isolation. That is the paper anniversary, right?

Talking with my friend Lynn Carrigan the other day, she said her isolation routine is graze, nap, sleep, repeat. My isolation protocol includes “pray,” and then “curse.”

I added cursing, because, boy, do I. Here alone at home I observe how often I drop things, run into things, trip on things (or nothing), lose things, and forget things. So, cursing.
I do not mind breaking things, because I can throw whatever it is out and be relieved of that part of my burden. Sometimes that is what it takes to break the bonds of sentiment.

Despair has been knocking on my door a lot the last few months. Life is hard anyway, and now it is harder. I do not know about you, but I am experiencing Isolation Adjectives: I define myself with words like, “loony,” and “squirrely” and “depressed.”

“Lonely” figures large in there, too.

It was my belief last spring that the pandemic would not be over in six months or even a year, or longer, and I should settle in, but having a reasonable perspective on a situation is not the same as living through the situation.

This is what it is like to be in a plush solitary confinement for a year. So far. I could not possibly have imagined what this would be like, or how it would affect me.

I am thinking of the anchoresses in the middle ages, women who were walled into little rooms to spend the rest of their lives in prayer and contemplation.

They had a little window into the church so they could watch mass; they got food handed in (and waste handed out) through that window.

Then there was one window outside where people could come up and talk to them, ask them for spiritual advice or prayers, or shoot the breeze, I suppose.

That fad did not last long, and I can see why. First, wall yourself into a little room for the rest of your life? What? Second, you had to pay some servants to do the food passing in and the slops taking out, so only women of means were able to take this path.

There are people now who live in tiny houses, but those houses have doors and windows, and plumbing and kitchens and a heat source, not to mention the composting toilet and the sleeping loft. Not the same thing at all. You must haul your own slops.

But I digress.

Isolation life has been hard. I miss people. I especially miss making music with people and laughing with people. I miss hugs, and I miss real books because I get most of mine on kindle now.

People said, “Make yourself a routine.” I am more of a “variety is the spice of life” kind of gal. I do have a routine into which I have settled, but probably not what the advice folks have in mind.

My friend Alice told me that her biggest challenge was doing nothing. I get it.

I was pushing myself for months to be productive with the chores: do the dishes, sweep the floors, do the laundry, sort out stuff so I could send some things to Granny’s and some things to the transfer station. Now that I was isolating at home, I finally had the time to get all that sorting and tossing done, right?

I got some of it done. I will keep at it.

I am also at level 900 or so of a phone game to which I am addicted. I have the television schedule for weeknights memorized. Do not come between me and my British murder mysteries.

I have more of a “what the heck” philosophy these days and I am working on my doing nothing skills.

Productivity is overrated.

Yeah, when you cannot go anywhere or see anyone, or laugh with anyone, or hug anyone, or sing with anyone, eating, praying, and sleeping can make the time fly.

And cursing, of course.

How are you getting by in this pandemic world?

News: Trump was acquitted in his impeachment trial, which was expected. Republican Senators had two big reasons to acquit: they want to be re-elected, and death threats.

Watching videos of what went on inside the Capitol did not convince Republican Senators that they needed to convict Trump. It made them realize what might happen to them if they did not acquit him.

O, Republicans. How far you have strayed.