Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Blizzard in Wuhan

This has been a difficult year. As I write, an obituary is open on one of my browser tabs. My dear Grandma Marge passed away on the 28th. https://www.holcombhenryboom.com/obituary/marjorie-hogan . It has now been almost 3 months since my oldest friend's brother passed away. And, I'm still terribly, terribly far away.





Since using words to construct an idea of a person's life and legacy comes up woefully short, my mom and her siblings kept it simple: Marjorie is remembered as a kind and gentle spirit.


It is now the 30th, with New Years Eve coming tomorrow. Despite cautionary tales of New Year's resolutions being doomed to fail, it's hard not to want to synthesize and reflect on your life and what you want to focus on moving forward on this auspicious day of the year.


Right now, however, I'm sick, and anxiously waiting the arrival of my boyfriend, who is due to arrive at midnight tonight, and it's actively blizzarding outside- something I didn't realize happened in Wuhan. I am anxious because midnight is a tricky time to arrive, the roads are undoubtedly disastrous (I'm pretty sure the city of Wuhan has no snow plows), and my boyfriend has a broken foot. It's surprisingly tough to find a taxi driver who can successfully deliver me to my apartment, since my campus has an array of gates, some of which are confusingly closed due to construction or time of night. Often, I'm let out outside of the school in a fit of understandable exasperation when the driver fails to find the one open gate. I don't want this to happen tonight at 1am with someone who is unable to walk in freezing, icy weather. Then, I have another lurking layer of anxiety, since this week I need to successfully turn in all my grades, proof, and course materials. I know this won't be a simple thing and that I'll find out last-minute information about arbitrary rules that I haven't followed, since I didn't know. You can't plan for what you weren't told to do.



Between all these middling anxieties, I'm barely functioning in a cloud of worry. I can barely feel my grandma's sudden absence. And, recently, I haven't been feeling as many positive thoughts about China. Since the next few weeks will be spent exploring China without a work agenda, I'm hoping that will soon change.



I hate this anxiety. I hate this worry and negativity. It feels so unworthy, so unnecessary. It's unbefitting for someone in my situation, for someone with my privilege. It's unbefitting to be lost in this fog and unable to clearly feel that my grandma is gone.



So, I'm lost in this fog, looking out my window at this startling blizzard dropping snow in Wuhan. My thoughts are thick and opaque; probably this is unarticulated grief. I can't think. There are no noble or significant eve of New Year's Eve thoughts arising from the fertile sludge of a year of living. It just feels like sludge. It would be nice, if and when they arise, that they be thoughts about my grandma and how she lived her life. I would like my resolution to be something in her spirit, something born from her zenful, generous, soft soul.





I hope to post some belated posts about the last few months and my friend Dani's visit soon.


Love,
Ilse











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