Like many Americans today, I live in two worlds. Day to day, I have a good life. I have not gotten COVID-19, nor has anyone I love. I am retired and have no kids unexpectedly at home. I hike in the beautiful Wasatch and camp in secluded nature as often as possible. I have a lovely backyard for socially distant gatherings. I have a husband and a loving family living nearby.
In this world, I can sometimes forget the parallel reality closing in on all sides. I reach for a rock climbing hold, and I don’t see the flames decimating the West. I read to my grandson, and the summer’s hurricanes, floods, droughts and searing heat are pushed aside. I reach a lofty peak and forget that thousands of racial injustices took place during my hike. I forget about soaring COVID-19 infections, the windstorm that felled the best of our urban canopy, and the terrifying threats to our nation’s democracy. I forget that hate now drives my countrymen’s passions.
But not for long. Pressure builds with each new atrocity, and a constant headache sends me to a neurologist. She can block the headache, she says, but she can’t find the cause.
Salt Lake City