Laryngitis and the Detritus of a Global Pandemic



If you had to look up detritus the dictionary, don't feel bad. If you didn't look it up, but you aren't quite sure what it means, I got you. Detritus: noun. Rock in small particles or other material worn or broken away from a mass, as by the action of water or glacial ice.

Any disintegrated material; debris.


If you already knew what detritus meant, cheers. By the way, the definition is from Dictionary.com, since Merriam-Webster's definitions have been shown to be in flux recently (wink wink). I think I might have added "brain atrophy" to the list in my title here, but...you know, at this point, it just goes without saying.


If you are surprised to hear from me, I am sort of surprised, myself.


So, I signed off this blog in May with the intent of taking a few weeks off. Which, *technically* I did, if 26 weeks can count as a "few." For the sake of my pride, we can and will. I didn't intend to go into full shut-down mode, but that is exactly what happened. I had written about my Mother's Day breakdown, which I will say, was equal parts embarrassing and liberating. The writing about it, not the experience--the experience of it was just rotten. And I have to say I appreciated your feedback from the post. I know you moms out there totally get what I meant.


Long story short, I took a few weeks off, the world caught fire, and I panicked.


I lost my voice.


Laryngitis is a funny thing. Maybe you can make a raspy whisper or a speak, instead of your normal voice. That's what it felt like, even on an emotional level. It's being rendered mostly mute.


Between the protests, riots, COVID fears, the economic repercussions of the pandemic, quarantining at home and all else that has been going on, my voice was caught in my throat.


For a while, I couldn't formulate the thoughts of what to express at all. Then, when I recovered my sense for what I wanted to say, I couldn't formulate the words to express it. Then further, when I was able to compose the words, I hesitated to share them online. Things just felt too hot. I wasn't sure how to proceed.


And you know how that goes, the longer you avoid something, the more daunting it feels to give it a go again. That's where I have been stuck. Where my fellow procrastinators at??


I just felt like I couldn't speak. Or write, as it were.


We all recognize why there may be reticence to share a conservative viewpoint. Living in the shadow of a cancel-happy culture, there are currently real-life concerns about being doxxed, losing a job for "liking" a tweet or Facebook post, and the like. If you don't know what I am talking about, I am warning you--you need to pay closer attention. It's happening. If you do recognize it and shrug it off, perhaps you think that your side will keep the power and it will benefit you. Be wary.


Every issue that emerged over the summer had me itching to speak up. I would wake up in the middle of the night with a few lines in my head that I wanted to write, but I ignored the prompting. By morning, they were gone. My words had retreated into obscurity for another day, only to return in the middle of the next night, where they easily drifted away again.


I kept thinking about the quote (which I will paraphrase here): "We spent years writing diaries and we cried if someone read them, now we write our thoughts for the world to read and cry when they don't." Seems prescient. And it gave me pause over pressing the "publish" button. There are a lot of people out there, using a lot of words, but still saying nothing. It is possible there is some escapism in that, both for the reader and for the writer. I'm not a pessimist, but I don't want to be the violinist, playing as normal while the Titanic sinks. Conversely, maybe our souls and egos are soothed by pressing on as normal in the midst of a confusing and painful time.


I tend toward the depressive (even though I am not a pessimist and I am resilient; try to explain that one), and I turn inward. Are those valid reasons? Regardless, it's laughable to avoid my own blog, but we are going to call it a coping mechanism. There's only so much we can handle emotionally at one time.


_________________


I am a word person. I think of describing the pandemic and all that has happened in 2020 as an iceberg scraping along. Lord knows this feels like a slow moving monstrosity. It necessarily is going to leave a mark that changes how we move forward as individuals and as a society. Lots of pieces has been knocked loose from what we thought was a solid foundation. You feel the change in the landscape, I know.


There are things that will never be back to normal. I have some good reasons to believe this, and I'll give more detail on it soon. If you are hearing this for the first time, I am sorry to be the one breaking the news. People are now suspicious of their neighbors. Frightened parents are raising their children to also be afraid. There is a dramatic "Us vs. Them" moment occurring, both in our lives with the virus and in politics. Unfortuately, the virus and its related fears have opened up opportunities for people who have a global vision for the world to seize control over some of your liberties by telling you it is for your protection. Shockingly enough, there hasn't been much push back. You're being told that if only there is global oversight, then every country would get what they need to fight this virus. I'll just spoil it here--It might sound good, but it won't work in the end.


There is no going back to where we were. The debris that is left has marred us all, some in small ways, some more noticeable. Everyone is trying to make the best of where we are right now--between school schedules and mask wearing and trying to be as "normal" as possible. I've been a person who wants to be truthful about reality. Perhaps you know me well enough already to know that I am not a logician--I am an enormously emotional creature. I'm not really all that good at this. I'm not the best communicator, I know that. I'm not the best writer. I let my fear overtake my ability to speak truth, clumsily as I may. But I am going to strive to be one of voices crying out in the wilderness, sharing the hope that I have.


So we are going to try to brush off some of the dust of 2020. Let's encourage one another to continue to give voice to truth, not fear. Stick with me and let's see what we can do.


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