There is something to be said for being offline for several days, including access to news, unless the news you come back to is so big and heart-rending that it feels as though the world has been knocked a-kimbo.
We were only marginally aware of the bombings in France while we were in Cuba. Partly a function of the language barrier, but mostly because we were in buildings without TVs and radios, meeting with people in homes and churches and restaurants.
I’m still not altogether certain I could talk with any certainty about what is going on in the world because even as I dipped my toe back into news and social media, it felt unreal. My heart and mind are still processing another world. A world filled with completely different words and people and food and worship and scenery and buildings and churches and homes and cars…
I need to engage in the reality of this world, but I don’t want to put at risk those first still tenuous connections I have been made to that world, to those dear ones.
I don’t want to stop thinking in Spanish so that I can tell those sweet sisters how much their work, and cooking and care for us meant. So that I can tell our dear brothers that the hard world moving furniture and fixing water lines was seen and appreciated. So that I can love them each by pronouncing their names properly and meet their efforts at English somewhere in that beautiful in-between.
I don’t want to forget the honesty with which they shared their grief and pain and struggles. They have been separated from my own for too long by my government and by my ignorance.
Maybe in a few days I will have room for more pain and grief and anger. But for now, I kind of want to be quarantined.