This pandemic has altered me in ways. I imagine the changes won’t be permanent, yet they are disturbing in this moment.
Much of the time I feel as if I’m living on an island, my community somewhere across the water. I look around and see others on their own islands, distant blurs of fading color.
Some have told me that I must be enjoying this time, that I must be using it to write.
I’m not enjoying it.
I’ve fallen far behind schedule.
I know I’ve always been one to take to the mountains for the solitude, one who hides away to write. These times are unique though. The silence is deafening; the solitude is troubling.
It doesn’t matter than I’m a bit reclusive and an introvert, it’s difficult to write on this island, separated from loved ones, monitoring those who land on my shore, praying they don’t bring the dreaded virus to my husband who has many health issues, my soul leaking from me, a drop here and a drop there.
One night I dreamed of a little girl who wore a tattered dress of faded blue. She sat on a stump, blue leaking from the fabric, puddling around the stump. She had dark hair with auburn streaks. I waited and watched, hoping the color of her hair wouldn’t leak away. Believing the stump was the problem, I tried to speak to her, to warn her of what I saw happening, to tell her to move away from the stump, yet no words came. My mouth moved but I delivered no words.
This separation, this island, this fading color, this leakage of my inner self—I’m left searching for words. I wonder if words, chapters, paragraphs are slipping from me.
I wonder which color it is that leaks from me.
Brenda Sutton Rose
Author of Dogwood Blues