We are only separated by space.
His mother, whom he was very close with, came to the train station before it departed. She was distraught. To comfort her, Dietrich called out the words, “We are only separated by space.”
I’ve revisited these words and this story many times. Again when my mom moved away. And yet again, when I left Utah to live where I am now in Georgia.
Now, here we are. I feel these words are more important than ever. Our whole world is dealing with the suffering, confusion and chaos of COVID-19. I find myself on a roller coaster of emotion. Feeling disappointed that many of the endeavors I’ve planned and worked towards have either come to a screeching halt or are dissipating away. Feeling guilty that I am one of the lucky ones who gets to stay home and social distance while healthcare and social workers are on the front line. Feeling sad that I took for granted the simple pleasure of sharing a conversation and cup of tea with a friend. Feeling grateful to have a patio and the time to let the sun shine on my skin while I read books. Feeling well rested because I have nowhere to be, so there’s plenty of time for sleep. Feeling feeling feeling. I sometimes forget how useful feeling is.
This whole experience is important. It’ll be important in many ways. It’s important because I’ve realized how many beautiful people I have in my life. Family members, friends, acquaintances, and strangers.. We are all connected. Even though I’m apart from my people, I feel their love and kindness. I’ve seen more smiling faces on my computer screen, on my walks, on my drives than I’ve noticed in a long time.
I still feel a lot of things, fear being a big one. But I know that this is a shared fear, one that we don’t have to carry alone.