Saturday, March 21, 2020

Thoughts on a Virus

Self-Portrait, Lotus Festival, 2017
The Coronavirus would be my second plague. My first was AIDS. Back then, I'd heard the average age of death for a gay man was 45. I felt middle-aged in my twenties. Middle-age can be startling--forcing me to ask serious questions of my life: Am I doing what I should be doing? What makes me happy?

Now, I am middle-aged again. Amidst Covid-19, I ask similar questions: Am I doing what I should be doing?  What makes me happy?

Today, I add these questions: Am I being helpful enough? Has my creativity helped anyone? Have I served?

I don't know the answers, but this new virus is making me think. The worst case scenario is two million Americans will die.    Will I be one of them? If so, would I be okay with that?

The short answer is: Yes, I would have to be.  I recognize that at 52, I surpassed the old estimate of dying at 45.  I published books, something that I didn't know was possible for me. I got an MDiv in Buddhist Chaplaincy--also another surprise in my life. So many surprises.

I wonder what surprises are left?  Maybe I die--surprise! Yet, there's a part of me that still might have a bit of survivor's guilt.  As a gay man, did I cheat death? Will Coronavirus even the score? I don't know.

I just know that I'd been gifted with 52 years on earth so far. Whether I get another year or decade or several decades, I can't say. I guess, for now, I get to see another spring. If I'm lucky, maybe summer. If I'm really lucky, another fall.

No comments: