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I have moments where I can see and hear and feel. I see the green lizards with their puffy red throats sunning on the wall in front of the spring flowers and the bees. I see a father walk a toddler around the block with extreme patience and feel the pleasant warmth of sentimentality. I hear my two college-age kids laughing along with us at the dinner table, a gift delivered several months too early. I hear the instruments' melodies as my kids practice, sound sneaking out from under their closed doors. And sometimes what I see and hear is enough to elicit the serenity, the awe, the silver linings. But far too often, very very often in fact, I cannot. I feel smothered and lost. I’m walking along the edge of an old familiar volcano crater. The crater is the collection of my life’s depression, anxiety, illness, grief, trauma. I have learned to navigate the crater over the decades; it has its labels and treatments. My proverbial “toolbox” filled to the brim. I know each section of my crater, each bump, this rock that is a bit heavier than that one, and see how the dirt looks just a bit different around the sinkholes. Now, there’s nothing in that crater caused by the pandemic and I have a version of gratitude for even just that - many people are experiencing things right now that will become their trauma, their grief. Sometimes it even feels like I’ve got a leg up the rest of the world. Coping with the sense of being trapped, of loneliness, of worry and panic? Been there, done that. But this last month of quarantine is heating up that volcanic center in a way that is different - a difference that I haven’t found words for yet. ---- Thank you for this newsletter, for Ms. Prescott sharing her thoughts, and for the prompt. You helped me to find words for today.

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