Sun Rings/Uprising

The sunrise in Zulu is ‘ukuphuma kwelanga’ which means, I guess, the coming out of the sun. Yeah!

— The opening lines of Nicolay’s Sun Rings/Uprising

Over the last few days, I’ve thought about that last flight home from New York on March 6th of 2020. The one where masks started to appear with more frequency, and people sanitized everything at their seats; the one where my wife didn’t want me to kiss her upon my arrival back in the house. There was family dinner at my sister’s place on that Sunday and discussions of whether recent trips and work events had exposed any of us. I’ve been thinking about my last trip into the office on Monday, March 9th, 2020, and canceling my last in-person session with my trainer. And then March 11th. And March 12th. And March 13th. And my birthday. And then the fugue state of the next eight months.

One year into the pandemic and I am both marking the milestones of the start of “safer-at-home” practices while imagining what appears to be a rapidly approaching “free to roam about the cabin” post-crisis phase of COVID.

It’s an overcast day in Los Angeles, but I feel like I’m going to burst out of this like a solar flare. Over the last 90 days or so, I’ve been working on my fitness. Physically, mentally, and spiritually I’m working at optimal levels, and I’m ready for the world. The fog I was in for much of 2020 has cleared and been pushed back by, as my sister put it yesterday, the holy trinity of meditation, journal writing, and working out.

In my end-of-year survey, I wrote about the days where I felt small. Those days have moved from infrequent to non-existent in recent weeks. I sense my spirit expanding. My desire to do what’s good and right is knocking up against my disinterest in conflict, and “good” is starting to win the wrestling match with “safe.”

Over the course of this past week, Twitter was increasingly filled with notes of anxiety about being back in a more open world. Not me, nerds. There are many things I plan to take with me from this prolonged public health crisis—a more disciplined approach to preventing the spread of illness chief among them—but I’m not stressed about what comes next.

Ukuphuma kwelanga.

This sun is coming out.

Be ready.

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