Quarantine Thoughts: A Journal Series
As a quick letter from the editor, I’d like to introduce to you a new series we’ve started up in light of our current circumstances. It is often difficult for me, even as a writer, to find the words to describe what it feels like to be in the world right now. There is this deep sense that something has been taken from us, but I cannot quite pin down what it is that calls me to pace the kitchen in the middle of the night. It is the same feeling that sits with me in the shower, in the stillness of a moment I’ll never get back. I sometimes have the idea that I am the only person who cries madly in the middle of the day, flooding every room I talk into, who buries my head in piles of clothes that still smell like outside, who worries that maybe the sun won’t rise tomorrow.
I ask you, dear reader, do you feel as scared as I do?
I urge you to write about it.
The series that I am introducing to you right now invites you to be a part of a new Pathos journal series that aims to both highlight the voices of artists like you, and offer a space for you to see what the people in your community are going through. We invite you to send in your journal entries to our email address (email@example.com) with the subject line labeled “Quarantine Thoughts.” All submissions are encouraged and welcomed from the community.
I hope the sun does continue to rise tomorrow, and I hope you, dear reader, are there with us to see it.
Without further ado, please enjoy our first entry by a fellow Pathos Volunteer.
From your humble editor,
Take Me to the Shore
By Emma Butterfield
I am having some big, real feelings lately. There is so much pain coming to light in the world right now and it’s hard to not let it weigh heavily on my shoulders. I may not witness a lot of pain that is being experienced firsthand but I feel like there are waves of pain that are created from others’ struggles crashing against me and trying to drown me.
I miss going on the swings. I worry about my family and loved ones getting sick. It is painful to feel like I can’t go out into public without worrying about contracting the virus. I miss dining at my favorite restaurants, and cooking with friends, and swimming at the MAC. I miss the little things like browsing the sale section at Target and picking up little goodies that in all honesty, I really don’t need. I miss hearing calm breaths surround me at Yoga on Yamhill and Sunday mornings spent bathing in the joy of music,
dance, and warm smiles.
I worry that I will get sick and end up in the hospital laying on a bed all by myself, no visitors allowed, no joy allowed except the occasional dessert and potentially books that are dropped off for me. Even more, I worry I will have to go to the hospital I ended up at after those terrifying nights. The last thing I want on Earth right now is to re-live that pain, that darkness.
But I know that this all will end. Everything has an end and even though it may not be in sight, it still exists somewhere on the horizon. I hope with all my being that these waves will calm down sooner rather than later. I love the ocean but this is not the type of shore I like being surrounded by. Give me the type of waves that I can wade in, the warm kind that kiss my spine and allow my toes to flutter in their embrace. Higher power, whoever you are, please calm these waves for all of us. For the children whose parents are in the hospital, the elderly afraid for their lives, the doctors and nurses fighting to save lives on the frontline, the grocery store workers exposing themselves to danger day after day to get us the food we need, the drive-thru workers doing the same, and everyone in between. Bring us back to a world where we can rest more easily knowing that we can run to the beach and sink our toes into the sand as the warm winds hug our rosy cheeks. We will be waiting here patiently. We will keep fighting in the meantime.