Since the beginning of the year, each Monday I’ve posted a recipe of a meal from our family table. Not today, though. I’ve been trying to continue on with life as usual since Wednesday. Have been trying to carry on while batting the thoughts and fears and tears to the side like they’re nothing but angry flies.
The flies are too close, though. The flies are a plague.
Today two things weigh on my mind, and they’re what have stopped me in my tracks: a) new knowledge of what, exactly, bullets from an AR-15 do to a human body and b) this poem, shared by writer Kathleen Donohoe, which was written in May 1974 after a firefighter pulled a dead child from the rubble of bombings in Dublin. Each, unfortunately, is not independent of the other. Read the poem a couple of times. Focus especially on the last stanza.
Maybe next Monday some of us will be continue to pretend that life goes on as comfortably as always, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to post another recipe that my kids may or may not like and that you may or may not cook.
I’ll post the recipe, but now it’s a small gift from my family to yours, a released breath in the shared relief that we’ve gotten to one more Monday. Because a lot of us know the pretending is over.
The plague has descended. Don’t dare tell me that you are okay being comfortable in this.