2020, by Luke Suttmeier

Hundreds of miles away from everything I once knew
The solid ground still giving way beneath my feet, I am…. And that is all I am.
The exhaustion of constant change and uncertainty consumes me Seemingly every piece of life has been altered
And it is uncertain when normalcy will resume
If it ever will. Predictability is a relic of the past.

This year has brought with it a series of unfortunate events
Losses and disruptions that have been experienced collectively
Life-altering tragedies known to those close to me
And heartbreaking misfortunes that are borne privately.
Every week seemingly a new challenge presents, shaking, rocking the foundations My prescribed role as a stable, competent pillar of strength, I often question. Mostly I feel hollow, empty, held together by a hastily polished veneer

There are days where optimism fills me Bursts forth like a bright morning sunrise The music I hear creates peace in my soul
I am present for the love of family around me

There are days where my fears and worries consume me Days where I lose track of all that I have
Days where the focus is solely on making it ‘til evening
To crash, to stop thinking, to wake and do it all again tomorrow

How am I making it through? Not easily.
One day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time,
Managing this as best I can, putting on that face
Like an actor. “Now I’m a teacher,” “now a parent,” “now a neighbor.” Meanwhile my inner spirit dwells in a haze of anxiety, confusion, and sadness. Yet still pushes me to do my best and be my best, for those who need me.

My solace is found in solitude, in nature, in music, in love
Not ever-present, but available if I can take the time.
It is these moments that remind me to live. Be here now.
Life may throw up wave after wave, obstacle after obstacle
But calm seas must inevitably return one day, and I await that day.
And in music, in love, in nature’s beauty and rhythm I find solace in the storm My physical body may be quarantined, but my spirit can touch liberation.