This year I did the Challenge for an entirely different set of reasons. Partly out of force of habit. Partly as therapy, or at least, the hope of therapy. I thought the discipline, the routine, the research, would help me climb out of this mindscape of despondency. I didn't do the theme reveal because obviously I didn't have a theme. I didn't sign up on the master list, because I didn't really think I'd be able to handle new visitors. I wasn't ambitious with return visits or commenting. Quite clear about it being a very different, pared down sort of participation. Considering all that, I've done okay - I managed to finish even though I forgot the order of the alphabet and most of my entries got posted in the nick of time before the date flipped. So yes, I've survived.
But the news back home got progressively horrifying with each day and the month ended with another bit of terrible news, the very traumatic and untimely death of a very dear family member in India. This year is turning out a worse nightmare than the last, I didn't think that was possible even. At times posting for the A-Z was the only thing keeping me sane, at times it was a chore, at yet another it felt like a thanksgiving for the grace that's come my way in these hard, never-ending pandemic weeks and months. Indeed, I am very aware of the blessings, as much as I'm aware of the grief, both collective and personal.
My heartfelt thanks to Elephant's Child, Joanne, Hilary, Kristin, Alex, Denise and Yamini for sticking around through April and throughout this pandemic insanity. Your friendship and support, online and off, means a lot. And thank you to A-Zers Alana, Lisa, Frederique, Deborah, Gail, Jemima and co-hosts John Holton & J Lenni Dorner for dropping by and commenting. Also to the entire A-Z team for the monumental work they do.
So. Have I enjoyed the A-Z? Have I written myself into a better place? I can't honestly say I have. But that's my issue, nothing to do with the A-Z. It reminds me of a favourite poem by Cavafy - The City, which basically says once your life's ruined, you can't escape it by going someplace else. Today it feels true for mindspaces as well. I'm still freaked out about problems which have no solutions, except for time. Today, everything's at a standstill and chaotic, not in a good place. Tomorrow, who knows? I might do better. Correction, I will do better!