Coronavirus Days--Week 43

 I've been holding my breath lots, like really lots, this past week, a week that initially held promise.

Monday began with long walk with my close friend, writing pal, in masks, in the warmth of the 50s, rounding a lake twice, more than five miles of catching up. Inspiration and smiles.

That high kept and Tuesday, in zoomland, I reconnected with my book group that I used to participate in for some 15 plus years, but stopped several years ago because my schedule and stress dealing with transitioning my parents made any consistent commitment anxiety building. When we chatted about a book we chose by email, all the joy, the comraderie, the stories and gentle teasing, made me so happy, even over the computer screen. We are meeting again in February. Later that evening, watching the Georgia election results in an election eve déjà vu, Steve Kornacki, snazzily dressed in his brown khakis, shirt, and tie showed me that hope lingered in the late counting counties. A smile into my sleep.

Wednesday began with my typical lingering in bed over coffee, reading, delaying my walk until late morning to avoid the cold. Watching the beginning of the electoral college circus, figuring it was going to be a long day, I decided to turn off for awhile and take Whitman a couple of miles and then myself a couple of miles solo in the neighborhood, celebrating one Senate win so far in Georgia. But I also worried about what the day would hold, knowing that threats had been made, seeing the build up to proud violent hate fueled racism. I stayed off news, and in a phone call, my sister mentioned riots at the Capitol, and then. Glued in horror. Angry. At times terrified. Never shocked. Words, though, fail me right now. Some of the best writing I've seen so far on this is Roxane Gay's "We've Seen the Ugly Truth about America", Kellie Carter Jackson's "The Inaction of Capital Police Was by Design", and Sam Sanders' "The Lies We Tell Ourselves about Race." Nan and I closed out the evening finding out that her craft buddy and friend of more than 15 years died from Covid complications. Our second funeral watched over the computer.

Thursday and Friday walking, attempts at reading, waking in the night checking news. Checking to make sure the world was still safe but not knowing what safe was any more. Still. Planning meals and making delicious food still my happy place.

And then Saturday delivered a mostly constant sprinkle of snow, light, not heavy. A slice of quiet. Hanging out with Nan in the evening, watching Mank (highly recommend) on Netflix got me excited about working on my humanities' film class I'm teaching again in the spring, thinking about something besides the pandemic and hate and violence and what might be.

Sunday, 6am, I opened the door to let Whitman into the backyard to do his thing, and took in the darkness, odd sky, a soft coating of snow. Breathing in the moment. I finished the proofing of this week's bread--a wheat boule--and then delayed breakfast until 10am so I could eat a slice warm and fresh with some eggs. A pot of split pea ham soup simmered most of the afternoon. I walked my miles, and by mid afternoon I re-dressed in my PJs, and surrendered to the day, deciding to delay all serious work on the semester until tomorrow. 

These next days and weeks won't be easy. Uncertainty. Breath holding. News checking. And finding joy even if the moments are small. It's not the end of story. 


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