Sarah Tuttle-Singer
Sarah Tuttle-Singer
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COVID-19: I didn’t bake bread

I mourned. I prayed. I had no epiphanies. I drank less than I thought I would. But I ate more ice cream and cookies.

I didn’t bake bread or garden or learn to sew.

I didn’t start doing yoga in my living room, or listening to mind-bending podcasts that made me suddenly learn how to live in the moment.

I didn’t learn Japanese, or make my own soap or build a shelf.

I didn’t write down my dreams when I would wake up several times a night.

Instead, I washed the dishes seventeen times a day, wiped down counters, sorted, folded, lost a dozen socks and my temper too many times to count, and took pills to try to sleep. I cried every night for my dead mother and aunt and grandparents — I cried for the summer I turned 14 and would listen to the Cranberries on repeat back when there were still grownups, and I felt safe.

I stopped looking at maps and dreaming about pirate ships.

I forgot what day it was even when I wrote it down on my hand..

I didn’t write the next Great Novel – but I wrote a Will – even though I don’t have much to leave behind.

I did try to connect with family – with friends. But some days I was squeezed into a ball, and had nothing left to give, and no room to take.

I got to know the lines on my face.

I joined an online minyan every night to say kaddish for my friend’s mom.

I mourned.

I prayed.

I had no epiphanies.

I drank less than I thought I would. But I ate more ice cream and cookies.

I forgot how to talk to people I don’t know in person.

I threw out my back.

I found my first white hair.

I didn’t leave the house without a mask.

I realized I look better some days on Zoom than I do in real life.

I let my children stay up late so we would have more time together … and also so they wouldn’t wake up so goddamn early in the morning.

I am still in the sticky middle I suppose – maybe I’ll be here for a long time even when most of you are on the other side of this.

And really, there is no way to summarize what it’s like as I sit here and think about these strange and terrible days – for all of us in so many different ways – except for this:

I didn’t bake bread.

But I am still here.

About the Author
Sarah Tuttle-Singer, author of Jerusalem Drawn and Quartered and the New Media Editor at Times of Israel, She was raised in Venice Beach, California on Yiddish lullabies and Civil Rights anthems. She now lives in Israel with her two kids where she climbs roofs, explores cisterns, opens secret doors and talks to strangers, and writes stories about people. Sarah also speaks before audiences left, right, and center through the Jewish Speakers Bureau, asking them to wrestle with important questions while celebrating their willingness to do so. She also loves whisky and tacos and chocolate chip cookies and old maps and foreign coins and discovering new ideas from different perspectives. Sarah is a work in progress.
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