I woke up this morning coughing, from the smoke I assume.
I rose to a sitting position in my bed, noticed that the fire across the river wasn’t flames any longer but was still billowing smoke, and fell back down to my pillow.
I’m emotionally and physically tired. There’s a sense of weariness in the air that’s palpable and physically, I’m acutely aware of the lack of sleep I’ve had in the last several nights.
Last night I went to bed and didn’t sleep. I listened to the police and fire sirens. I listened for the helicopters. I listened as fireworks rained down and I was forced to wonder if it was indeed fireworks, or something else.
Around two a.m. I was still wide awake and I made myself a cup of tea. I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed, looking out the sixth-floor window of my apartment. My feet were resting on the cold, wide ledge of the windowsill, grounding me to the moment. My thoughts were with the unrest. They were with those who were angry and disappointed.
My eyes fell on the lines of squad cars lining the parking lot near my apartment building and I thought about the lives and safety of everyone out there, protestor or not. My heart muscles were stretching with the moments, like time ticking away. And it was ticking away.
I wasn’t sleeping.
I had just resigned myself to get up from my perch at the window when my eyes fell on something unexpected. My eyes welled up with tears as they took in the sight of a heart strung up in huge lights on the edge of downtown Minneapolis.
My stretching, painful heart wasn’t alone.
We’re not alone. Even in the darkness of a pandemic and rioting, in the weariness of lack of sleep and of worry and concern, we are not alone. We’re listening.