The Other Side

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

23 April 2020

Jim Morrison, lead vocalist for The Doors took psychedelic drugs. Some of the songs he wrote were about his hallucinogenic experiences. One of his songs, Break on Through was written about “getting out of (social) reality, drawing new connections and acquiring a clearer image of what’s going on. After such an epiphany, one could claim that they passed on to the other side.”

I haven’t done any hallucinogens, but I can’t help but relate the current quarantine with Jim’s experience. I’ve been out of social reality for over a month. I’ve been drawing new connections to people, places, and things. And I seem to be acquiring a clearer image of what’s going on. I haven’t passed through to the other side yet, so I bet the knowledge is going to keep on coming.

You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side

The day destroys the night. Sleepless nights are common for me throughout the quarantine. I can fall asleep well, but often my body decides to wake up around three in the morning. As my eyes stare at the ceiling fan for hours, my brain runs in circles. But as the sun rises, the day destroys the night. And during the day, I put on my work hat, my substitute teacher hat, and my mom hat. When the day comes, the thoughts of the night end. The day destroys the night.

Night divides the day. I know that every day will come to an end. I look forward to my nighttime routine. Dinnertime, bath time for the kids, goodnight stories for the kids, letting the dogs outside, unfolding in a scalding hot shower, getting my pajamas on, and jumping into my cozy bed. I get an hour or so of reading in, and I drift off peacefully. Night divides the day. As much as the business of the daytime is a welcome distraction, the calm energy that occurs at night is restorative and necessary.

Tried to run. Tried to hide. During the time I’ve spent at home, there have been moments in which I wish I could run and hide. But during a pandemic and with a stay-at-home order, there is nowhere safe to run. I suppose I could hide in my house, but what good would that do? Instead, I’ve chosen to look at my life and prepare. Prepare to break on through to the other side.

I daydream about taking my daughter to dance class and enjoying the conversation with fellow dance moms. I fantasize about going out to breakfast with my best friend. I imagine how it’ll feel to visit my family and have one of my Uncle’s famous feasts. I’ll never take these moments of joy for granted again. There’ll be peace on the other side. There’ll be love on the other side. There’s a clearer picture of what’s important. There’ll still be nights and there’ll still be days, but they will be fuller. There’ll be no need to run or hide.

I can’t wait to break on through to the other side. How about you?