I’ve been thinking about that word today. Last night before bed Jaimie and I each went to put on our shoes to take Andy outside. It took a moment before we realized that he was no longer here. Us taking him out had been so normal for so long. When we realized what we had done we stood and hugged each other instead. Where had he gone? Every where and yet, no where. He was here with us, as he always was. As he’d always be.
This morning was steeped in normalcy, in spite of the the fact that we slept in late. I made coffee and tea. I got my papers out, wrote, worked on proofs for the book. A perfect morning for me really. Then we drove to the cancer center for radiation treatment. A normal I had grown to accept a mere forty-eight hours after it started. Then we came home, and if it wasn’t for the empty parking lots we could be forgiven for thinking that everything was as it always was. We enjoyed a lunch of left overs and watched Community on Hulu. Is there anything in the world more normal than that?
Outside seems normal. Beautiful even. The rain and 50 degree weather has been driven out by flowers and sunshine. I opened my door, but was greeted by a wasp trying to get inside and attack me. He didn’t give two flips about any virus, or the pressure behind my eye, or that everything is in lock down. A door opened and it went inside, like all wasps since the beginning of time. I got it back outside, shut the door, and am now looking forward to a short, wasp-free walk in the park later this afternoon.
Now I’m lying here on the couch, writing this post to those out there who are listening. I wasn’t able to do this last week. This normal wasn’t possible, so I am enjoying every second of it now. Maybe that’s all normal is- the thing that was before that can’t be now.
Who has any idea. All I know is that I was single, now I’m married. Andy was here, now he’s gone. We should be on our honeymoon, instead I’m getting radiation. Nothing is open yet everything is closed. And here we are, trying to make sense of of it all.
I emailed my class today. As many of you know, I teach at the Fine Arts Center here in Greenville. It’s an Advanced Topics theatre course. For the past few months, they’ve been working on creating an original play and are now faced with the reality that it might not see the light of day. So one of the questions they are asking themselves is what to do with this art they’ve created. My email essentially welcomed them to the party. That they were facing the same question of every artistic director and every theatre maker in the world right now. How do we make art during times like this? How do we connect when nothing is connected? How do we make sense when nothing makes sense ever at all?
These are the questions life asks of us. Art demands that we make an answer. Knowing it will ultimately be wrong. And if it is right, then it will be for the briefest of moments. Before the old becomes the new. And normal fades into the light once again.