Stories are the future we imagine and make happen, then recount as history once lived.
This is our story:
And when we emerged it was awkward. We fumbled to jettison forced habits, hesitating and unlearning, bursting a dam of desire for touch. We threw away the masks and the distance, and ran towards the stroking of faces and the grasping of hands and the hugs, the long, long hugs. All that missing. The memory of those lost and dying during the time of distance and loneliness, how could we make up for the physicality of loneliness over months and months and months?
We pulled from buried history, new forms of demonstrating love, scooping up Indigenous greetings with the touching of foreheads and moments of silence in reverence at the power of touch. We remembered ecstatic dancing, and laughed as we clumsily learned the waltz and the samba for the proximity it offered us. Love was everywhere. We danced on the beaches and in the streets, and yes — people made love everywhere. Squares and Plazas that mothers had protested in were now filled with fiestas, families eating and dancing. Joy filled musicians finally performed night after night on balconies and in streets, in parades and arenas to raptious audiences, strumming chords and haunting melodies they’d composed in the loneliness of their room.
And when we emerged, we had been changed to the core. We had become kinder and simpler and we’d lost our junkie fix for power and adrenaline, we’d been forcibly detoxed with the retreat into isolation and the loneliness and the silence. We finally saw clearly what we needed, not what we wanted.
When we emerged we had stopped buying, incessantly filling our hours and emptying our accounts to fill a hole of emptiness in a world constructed for consumption not community, a world wired for always more, never enough. The malls were abandoned, made into community gardens and cooperatives, where bobcats and elk roamed at night beating the earth into new pathways, their rhythms no longer blockaded by concrete or cars.
We’d started making with purpose, relearning ancient skills, unleashing creativity. We knitted and we built, and we carved, and we painted. We grew, and we tended, and we made. We had woven tight meshes of community in response to the sadness and the…