I remain mute. I can’t yet speak about the unspeakable. I can barely contemplate the unthinkable. Social media posts are not forthcoming. Lengthy discussions hold no appeal. For once, and maybe for the first time in my life, I remain mute.
Opinions are something I’m never in short supply of, and I rarely have to be encouraged to share mine. But now, I’m not even certain what my opinion is. Before, I could tell you. Prior this calamity unfolding in front of our eyes, I had strong opinions. Rational, thought-out reasoning I could lay before you, like a feast. A banquet of thoughts, one feeding into another, just as the main dish follows appetizers, which begets dessert.
Rarely are one’s worst fears realized. Not really. We may say some future event, yet unseen, is the worst thing we can imagine. Yet the event passes, and we move along momentarily scratched, but overall unscathed.
If yesterday I had told you my worst fear, today you would call me a prophet.
I need time, require time. Time to think, time to process, time to retreat. Time to lick wounds that show signs of taking far longer to heal they took to acquire. I can’t even guess how much time is required. I am simply unable, in this aftermath, amidst this fallout to verbalize a single thought.
Instead I redecorate my office, bake a cake, and test-drive a new recipe for pork roast. I do the laundry and while I’m at it I clean the laundry baskets’ smudgy corners. My bleach-infused rag wipes free the motes of detritus collected there. I concentrate my attention on the laundry baskets that has been lacking when my days were filled with espousing predictions and hope, binding agreements with solidarity, creating alliances built on the fresh air of certainty.
Today that air has dispersed, replaced with stale breath of unbelief. Denial tastes sour in my mouth. I can’t talk to you about what I can’t yet accept. I can’t speak of the future when the present seems but a grey cloud I’m drifting through. I walk alone, but harbor my fear, trepidation, anxiety, and angst in the company of the like-minded.
When I emerge from this trance-like haze, I will emerge clearheaded. I will have defined my purpose, and my goals. My actions will be set in the direction that will lead to peace. Peace of mind. Peace to speak. Peace to stand.
While I don’t speak today, tomorrow I will unleash not a scream, not a torrent of words. I will release a quiet, constant, unrelenting undercurrent. I will speak. I will stand.