The Brink of Everything


Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that New York state is officially “on pause.” All non-essential businesses closed. All non-essential travel banned. This is not a suggestion for good citizens, he said. This is enforceable by law. No end date.

And now I’m feeling a lot of things.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. But this was also true before. Before, I wrote things down in my calendar. I assumed the things I wrote would occur. I assumed that other things would not. But I never knew any of this for sure. I chose to believe in my own plans because doing so brought some sanity. What can I put on my calendar now?

Wake up. Get dressed. Pray. Play. These are things I can plan to make happen.

I want to hug my family and friends. But this was also true before. Before, I figured I’d always have time. It wasn’t important to do it today. I could do it tomorrow, or maybe next week. Now I’m breathless with knowing that I cannot. My people are really far away.

Text. Call. Video. “I love you.”

I can’t trust a lot of my leaders. But this was also true before. Before, I ignored them as best I could, feeling embarrassed, hoping for change. Now I know that people will die. (And that was also true before.)

Speak. Organize. Plan. Prepare. I will be the leader I need.

I must find ways to hear more voices. But this was also true before. Before, I was patient with institutions, patient with “we’re not ready to change.” Even when somebody got left out. But now, opportunity. Everything’s changing. We are prying open the doors.

Wedge them. Block them. Throw myself bodily into those doors, so they can’t close again.

I cherish stories of love and connection. But this was also true before. Before, I held them in my heart, carried them from place to place, shared them when the moment seemed right. Now I realize I’m carrying thousands.

Tell. Give. Fill people up. That’s my work in the coming days.

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