I hope this email finds you well…
For most of 2020, that is how I have started practically every single email I have written. As the year went on, it became less and less a polite formality and more and more a fervent prayer, a shout of hope into the void, a desperate plea that it be true: That this email finds you well and healthy.
But for so many of us, it hasn’t been true. For many of us, this year has been awful. In our household alone, I lost my father and my next door neighbor to COVID and have suffered from a near debilitating bout of depression from which I am only beginning to surface. And while I am an introvert, I still miss long one on one conversations in coffee shops, work travel that took me to new cities, and potluck dinners at church.
My friends who work in the food service industry have suffered greatly. People have lost their livelihoods, their savings, their life’s work. Rituals of celebration that have existed for generations are gone now. Just gone. Once thriving business have no viable path forward through no fault of the owner.
Politically we have lived amidst chaos this year here in the US. Even something as “normal” as an election was made chaotic by the current President’s refusal to concede. Because of the size and influence of the US, this of course has international repercussions. A friend said that Biden’s chief selling point was that he was just the most un-chaotic person they could imagine.
And the holidays are… different this year for so many of us. It is not safe to travel, it is not safe to eat with those not in our household, it is not safe to do much other than hunker down at home, resulting in most days feeling like most other days, so they run together in such a way that leaves you unsure of what day it actually is, anyway.
In so many ways, this year has been brutal. And yet.
Life goes on. In many small and hopeful ways, life continues as we continue to find our way forward, as we build community in new ways, as we share our offering with each other, as we learn new skills needed to survive in this new world in which we find ourselves, as we provide for each other in new ways, as we provide mutual aid that is so necessary in response to the near complete lack of Government aid. And truly my face lights up as I see person after person I know receive the vaccine that promises to give us a semblance of normality again.
In short, it has been the worst year and the best year. But if we are honest, I think most years are like that. We tend, after all, to find the things we are looking for.
This newsletter started as an experiment, a COVID project that I never intended to last for 28 issues. It doesn’t get nearly the traction of my other writings, but I like it and will continue doing it – for now, at least. But do remember that it is experimental and even after 28 issues, I am still searching for its voice. I expect that experimentation to continue in the new year.
And speaking of that – this is my last edition of Hopeful Resistance this year – the next edition will hit your mailbox on January 8th.
I hope you have a healthy and happy holiday this year, and I wish you every happiness in the new year. But most of all, constant reader, I hope this email find you well.