The dog sleeps at my feet, on this, my first outdoor morning writing of the spring/summer of 2020. It’s May 14. This long, cold winter kept threatening yet another freeze even recently. Today, though, I woke to walk this caramel pit bull Captain in 55 degrees. By the end, my velour tunic drew sweat from my neck and torso, but we were almost home so I left my velvet on.

I woke tired and filled with resistance. On the walk, I encountered people who didn’t smile at me because I wore a mask. I keep it off unless I come close with others, which seems to be the norm. Who am I kidding? Nothing is normal, not one thing. Inside, we careen into an expansion like none I’ve lived through. Bliss droops our eyelids and covers us in glittering stardust. While the hell-on-wheels “presidency” daily acts to destroy everything and anything we’ve held dear, cheered on by angry mobs. Forgive them. They know not what they do.

I sip tea in my garden. I felt a big hug from the universe this morning. Hannah, my 19-year-old daughter, kind of fell apart and had a breakdown last night. Later, after I’d walked it off and through wild emotions, and she’d cried and talked with her dad through hers, we shared a breakthrough that will help her move through this time. She wants to paint her room, redecorate, change furniture–destruction and then recreation and letting go and allowing changes to our household that she promises will be a win-win-win for all of us. So she can feel at peace here. But I wanted no changes and was firm until the firmament itself shifted. She also said she needs soon to go back to her apartment for a couple of weeks of alone time. Also, our shared family dog, Captain, will soon return to her Dad’s house, because he’s now really Steve’s. True, we’re a tribe who shares him, but his dad holds him on his lap each night and strokes his fur and walks him daily for most of the year.

Dmitri Leiciu on Pxhere.

My walk melted my anger into love and pure loss, sadness that she might leave and not return. When I got home last night, I told Christopher I need my own dog.

This morning, I received what felt like a hug from invisible allies, letting me know it was really just Hannah’s process, that they will hold and love on me. They recognized it was a little hard on me and they wished to offer extra support. I believe we are all held in this way, but often we forget to pay attention and allow it in. We write these diaries of loneliness and suffering and then cling to them, chasing the angels away like they were bandits.

I intend to let God’s gifts in, all of them all the time, even when I feel weary or sad.

And angry, so angry. Hatred even. I wanted to never see Hannah or her dad again. The feeling of rejection from the divorce I find still raw inside me, which horrifies and humbles. I don’t mind the tears. Fresh grief just shows us another layer. But when I thought, over and over, that “No one loves me,” I called BS. Why, I asked myself, do you insist on this falsehood? What’s the payoff?

This is the answer I heard withing: “Then I don’t have to take responsibility for all my emotions.”

Oh, I said, Oh, but I do, and I will. And me and my dark storm gathered as we walked until the tears broke behind my mask and I cried and cried, grateful for the veil, all the way home.