hallo my loves.
greetings from hawke’s bay. you may be wondering why i haven’t posted a ton in the past few days…dada is back in the country.
he just got out of his two weeks of mandatory hotel isolation in new zealand. he’s been gone nine months almost to the day.
he took a night to get his bearings, and we agreed that meeting on the beach would be a good idea. ash knew dada was coming back one of these days, but he’s five. specifics only cause anxiety. we surprised him. neil ambled down to the end of the beach.
when ash saw him, he sort of couldn’t believe it. neil stood there smiling in the sand and ash was speechless for a moment, then he turned around and buried his little head in my chest. i had to whisper to him “that’s really your dada, he’s really here” a few times before he would look up. then he bulleted into neil’s chest and held onto him like a barnacle for about a solid minute. there were lots of happy tears.
the relief i am feeling is like nothing i can explain. nine months as a single parent in a pandemic in a foreign country where you showed up with one suitcase for a week of gigs is not something i would recommend unless you really want your humility handed to you on a platter.
so maybe i do recommend it.
i have never felt more humbled by and experience. it was a long fucking nine months. a gestation period to re-grow a whole idea, a whole new self.
and now, for the first time in nine months, i can walk away from this child knowing that if anything happens to me…he’s all good. his dad is here, and has his back. my shoulders have dropped two full inches.
and i am, of course, not experiencing any of this without having the simultaneous thoughts about all those who are separated right now and cannot hug like this.
the parents who can’t see their kids or grandkids. the kids who can’t see their aunts and uncles. the siblings separated by covid. the frazzled and broken connections the world over.
i was granted a resident visa shortly after lockdown. then neil spent a good nine months applying for an exemption to return on compassionate grounds and was rejected and then reapplied. and then they said yes. then he had to wait several months for a place in the hotel quarantine queue.
we got lucky.
we know it.
all i am feeling is awash in gratitude.
gratitude that my family is safe. gratitude to this country. gratitude to all the people, including you patrons, who have carried me through this, and been my stand-in family when i needed support more than any other time in my adult life. you carried me through.
meanwhile, i found out yesterday that one of my cousins in scotland, mary, just died of covid. she was living up near where neil’s been in lockdown for the last nine months. she’s older. she broke her hip, went to the hospital in dundee, and it was healing fine. then she got covid. then it took her life.
she didn’t have anyone to hold her when she died.
it did not have to happen like this.
so i lit a candle, and thought about all of us. trying, in my own way, to hold her….time and space be damned. and in my head i tried to hold all of you who have been alone, or not alone enough, or suffering, or losing loved ones to covid.
what a moment in this goddamn weird world, everyone. what a moment.
not to mention the political news.
i don’t know where to start.
i just know that i am holding on as best i can.
i know you are, too.
anything we survive…is something we’ve survived. it’s in the past. it’s part of the story now. and it’s over. onto the next.
i am sending all of you all of my love.
now i’m gonna go cook dinner.
p.s. (oh and i am gonna be a day late in posting my podcast post. 🙂