Coronavirus Days--Week 14
Some days, when my mind is staring skyward, I imagine life again soaring somewhere, perhaps carefree, perhaps without so many worries.
This past week, I found a bit of a rhythm, spending parts of days doing some work (yes, this summer, I am working because of the pandemic, because it gives me some structure, because being involved helps me feel a bit more moored during a time when if I soar too high, I might get caught in some wires).
If I spend days reading, getting in 3-5 miles of walking, cooking foods that feel good in my belly such as shrimp tostadas, and digging in the weeds of the garden, then I rest a bit easier. Bonus--I am away from the constant refresh of news overload, which on all fronts, is usually one giant bummer.
Nan and I are also venturing out a little more, just to change up the monotony of predictable days at home. We stay safe, since neither of us is in any hurry to change much of our behavior, which has kept us safe and relatively sane. One day, we went for a late afternoon stroll in Cheeseman Park on a fairly cloudy post rain day, when many people weren't out wandering, and we could stroll on paths without a mask, breathing in the air and looking at different surroundings than the same houses I pass when I walk in my neighborhood. Yesterday, we ventured to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, spending most of the time in the car on the wildlife drive, taking in sightings of burrowing owls, bison, deer, and some birds. Life felt non-pandemic for the moment, being present in the beauty of the moments. We took pictures, spotted birds, and made plans to return even earlier some morning in the future in hopes of spotting more birds with less people.
I have even found myself showing up for some zoom readings and panels that are part of the annual Lighthouse Writers Lit Fest, an event I usually attend in person each year, a time when I reconnect to some writing and get inspired to work a bit on pieces over the summer. This year, I made a decision not to sign up for any craft sessions that cost money, mostly because I wasn't feeling the love of learning on the computer after half a semester of being tied to the computer for teaching. When the stay at home went into effect, I yearned for some inspiration and community, so I tuned into the computer for weekly literary readings and some virtual concerts. But, as the pandemic marched on, my world got smaller and what I had previously found pleasurable, no longer appealed. Like the flying pelican at the top of this entry, I feel a bit lighter and ready to engage a bit again.
And much to my surprise, I have spent the weekend writing. Last October, I took a generative flash fiction workshop with Kathy Fish, and this weekend, she had what she calls a reunion weekend, with a daily prompt to generate a flash fiction piece, a space to post it, and a space to give supportive feedback. I spent hours each day composing something, showing up, and finding that I want to work on writing over the weeks to come; I need to do the work even in moments when I don't want to. This helps me feel a bit more whole. It helps remind me that my whole world is not the pandemic.
Some evenings, I go stroll through my neighborhood to take account of what is open, where are people hanging out, what is the sense of safety and behavior. I just observe rather than run a commentary on douchebags. I note and navigate my own way into this reopening. Precautions are being taken. Businesses want customers. For now, though, I stay on the outskirts, most content at home, away from where the virus likely swirls.