Unsettled

Dear Friends and Family,

I am unsettled. Every time I think I've gotten a handle on the new normal, I find myself unsettled.

In the Before Times, I was always busy. I planned workshops for school districts, traveled across the state to lead them, followed up afterwards and planned for the next one. I organized political action parties—plan, host, act, repeat. I scheduled and attended writing retreats. And, when I wasn’t doing all of that, I planned our next big trip—this year it was to be Italy. 

I was always busy, always moving, always going. But it didn’t feel that way. Most of the time I felt like I wasn't doing enough, helping enough, earning my existence enough. And then… Coronavirus. 

For weeks. 

And weeks. 

At first, I threw myself into work looking at my lack of travel as a time of unexpected reflection, reading up on the latest research and planning new workshops for when schools re-opened in the spring. Then, it became clear schools would not reopen and the shelter in place orders would not lift anytime soon and I threw myself into letter writing. With the emailed letters, I included tips on how to take care of ourselves and how to help out in our community during this pandemic. I was still busy, just in a different way.

But, when schools started to announce learning from home would continue—in some form or other—through the fall, I stopped planning my future workshops. Now, with social distancing expected to continue, at least, through the summer, political action will have to remain virtual. Everything is unsettled and so am I. Until I know more, I can’t do more. 

And, just like that, all my busyness stopped—including Letters from Leslie.

For the past two weeks, I haven’t written because writing letters feels indulgent. It feels like I’m not doing enough to earn my existence. But unlike the Before Times, I can't distract myself with constant movement and activity. And this, too, leaves me unsettled.  

But here’s what I know: Writing, especially letter writing, is how I exist in this world. It is how I make sense of the world and my place in it. 

So, with no proof, whatsoever, I’m taking a leap into faith that writing—including letter writing—is not indulgent, but instead is necessary for a healthy, safe and loving life. 

Until next time, stay healthy, safe and loved, most important, loved.

Love, Leslie

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