Saturday, April 17, 2021


 Yesterday I had the privilege of having an on-air conversation with Yona Lunsky as part of the 'Let's Talk' series hosted by the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals. The topic was essentially looking forward and past the pandemic. This was based on an article that Dr. Lunsky wrote for the International Journal for Direct Support Professionals. In that article, she considers all that we have lost over the past year, the many thefts of COVID and suggest we notice and acknowledge the losses and give space to the traumas that come with them.

It was such a good conversation that I carried parts of it into my afternoon and evening. I was thinking really intensely about the losses I have felt once COVID shut me in. There are the obvious ones of course but the profound sense of loss was something else, something different. I realized it as I was turning on Netflix. I was tired of being the passive recipient of someone else's storytelling. I am a storyteller. My whole approach to public speaking and training is to tell stories. This blog has existed because of the stories I encountered as I went about my business.

I have no stories.

I have nothing to tell.

I have nothing to share.

Ah, that's the loss that I feel so keenly. I go out into a world where people are staying apart, staying away. I go into interactions with people wearing masks and visors. I speak only when spoken to by a clerk or shop assistant. Gone are the spontaneous moments that give me insight into a moment or an idea.

Here I sit in front of a computer screen with nothing to say, or more accurately, with no story to make what I have to say engaging.

I am lucky that I get to have conversations like the one with Dr. Lunsky and the folks at the NADSP, those give me a way to feel that I'm still participating in my world.

I want the new normal, whatever it is, to tell me a story that I can bring back here to you.

I've missed you.


Unknown said...

I miss you and Joe in my life.

Flemisa said...

And I for one have certainly missed you. I value your view on the world and hope you and Joe are enjoying good health and looking forward to what lays ahead

Maggie said...

We've missed you, too. It's amazing what has disappeared along with so-called casual conversation. The feeling that we know our coworkers. The moments of connection around solving a minor problem in 15 minutes putting our heads together. Putting our heads together -- wow, what a strange idea now.

Glad to see your pest today, though; I was worried that your silence meant more than the pandemic. May the stories return.

lexica said...

Good to see you again (for modern online values of "see").

What you say about the lack of spontaneous interactions resonates with me. After a year of not speaking with anyone other than my husband for more than five minutes at a time (other than Zoom calls for work) I feel like I've forgotten how to interact with people. Where did the me who (despite being an autistic introvert) used to enjoy chatting with strangers go? It feels like my horizon has contracted down to my toes. Now that the vaccine is widely available in my area and I've gotten my second jab, the prospect of expanding that horizon again is both appealing and scary.

helencs said...

Missed you too Dave!

jp said...

You and I ended our formal jobs at about the same time, in my case after 35 years working with Mobile Arc. I suspect your most important story right now is personal, less about the individuals you've devoted thousands of hours to teaching, and more about the next section of your life. I've postponed real instrospection by devoting myself to personal hurricane cleanup for six months. But now...I'm thinking of volunteering at Habitat for Humanity. Safe housing seems like a critical issue everywhere. I can imagine you working/volunteering on accessibilty, from airplanes to state parks. Or whatever. I'll be interested in what you do, and what you choose to share.
Julie Pittman

Belinda said...

First, I hear you--but you, my friend, are a fount of stories.

Why are we not talking! We should be.

I have to tell you about the book, Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.

ABEhrhardt said...

You do have YOUR stories - stories of how you hav survived the pandemic, and what you've learned about yourself and your life.

I've kept up my blogging, tiny though that is, that way.

And I've been happy to see your occasional FB appearances - and wondered how you were using the fallow time. And watching your blog to see if you had, yes, another story.

It was hard to write fiction this past year - it seemed as if molasses grabbed my ankles - but I still wrote. The second volume in my mainstream trilogy is getting closer to publication. As the various stresses lifted, the miasma parted a bit, and I have gotten a bit faster. And been hit with various things I hadn't planned on which had to be taken care of.

Hope you see that there are always stories.

Mumzietired said...

Covid has devastated life as we know it. No social gatherings our people seperate from the world we have worked years to include them in.Sorry my people are challenged and dont understand not going out because they will get cooties. Why arent the Government going into assisted homes and vaccinating our people. They are being ignored. We need our people vaccinated because they are at risk and cant get out of bed. We have several without vaccination because the health dept isnt willing to send an LPN OR PHARMACIST TO VACCINATE IN HOMEBOUND PEOPLE. Im writing my pharmacist and my senator because our healthdept in this state doesnt make nonmobile people a priority. Not fair.

painting with fire said...

Glad you are posting - I've missed you. And yes - we've lost so much connection in this year of lockdown - on top of all the other losses. It's hard to imagine what healing and a new normal will look like.