at the beginning of covid quarantine, my mom made the same comment every time she heard the news reporters talking about "social distancing": it isn't social distancing, it's physical distancing, for we can still be connected, can still feel the reverberations of each other's loving care, even when we can't touch.
at first i felt like this was just woo-woo momspeak, the langauge of spiritual bypassing and unwarranted, motherly optimism. the past several tuesdays, however, have shown me otherwise: it is evidently possible to feel kinship with people across the net, to learn and build things together in ways that underscore our shared humanity. while it is still strange to consider that we have never met in person, i am so grateful to have sent and received these weekly transmissions of virtual care. our activities may be digital but the warmth in my heart is palpable -- physical and deeply real.
a few days ago, I received a letter from an old neighbor-friend who is now living two days away by post and suffering a newly and perhaps permanently broken leg. In cursive, he described a longing for "an archival body that can never be alone." this made me cry a little and think of you all a lot. I responded in cursive, remembering the pre-school mobile project currently hanging in my parents' basement, wherein I learned how to write:
THANK YOU FOR YOUR LETTER! MANY BLUE CARDS HANGING TOGETHER
"an archival body that can never be alone."
thank you for writing with me across many miles of electrically-charged air.