Coronavirus Days--Week 47

Some days, pet pics make it all better. Some days, they just take off the edge. And some days, like today, I need to look back through the week in search of a happy slice for a smile. Actually, it's been a fine week. Nothing different except lots of noting of things that I don't need to fret about, like what l'orange has done in my sleep, if vaccines are being produced, and how much hate will be legislated this week.

Sure, I can find plenty to still worry about, but most days, I choose not to. But today, a brisk walk in the wind didn't quite cure the edge. An edge that I  fed by reading an article positing that it might be 2024 when we finally return a bit to a carefree pre-pandemic life. That is three years from now.

Like many of you, I spend a fair amount of time in my very active brain, pondering all sorts of random. Lately, with a vaccine within the light of my future, perhaps even months away, maybe sooner, I turn often to considering what it is this time teaches me, has taught me, lingers with me week to week. When I consider what is it that I need for essential happiness, contentedness, it is not constant access to a movie theater. It is not a live concert. And it is not dinner at a restaurant that makes me moan over its food. Oh hell yeah, those things I love. Those things, I don't want in the forever ago pile. But I am fine, really, without those things.

Reading. I need it. I'm reading lots, even though I have a lot of books started and not finished. I can't imagine a world in which I don't have books I can grab, of all sizes, different genres, something suitable for my moods. Currently, I've been reading The Book of Eels, a book my book group I imagine will have disliked when we meet in a few weeks. But for me, I'm digging the random facts and personal obsession the author has with eels. I also, don't tend towards this type of reading, but find that when I'm immersed in something that is so far from my reality, I travel far far away from anything current, and these days, there is solace in that.

And the food and my playing with food doesn't stop, and I know that I always need a kitchen and ingredients to puzzle together. This past weekend, I made a new bread combining a bit of light rye flour, wheat flour, and bread flour, and again, the texture and taste made me happy. Although the rye flavor was barely perceptible, something I'll work on with another try, the bread crusted deliciously and the inside proved light with a good amount of textured holes. I even spent an hour last evening watching videos of bread artisans, showing different techniques and discussing the science behind how the yeast works. Good times!

Throughout these coronavirus days, I've learned that I appreciate a schedule that allows for spontaneity. I'm a planner. I used to like seeing my calendar somewhat filled with events to look forward to, dates with friends, Nan, events planned months ahead. At times, though, my calendar would be so full that I would start my steady cancel, unable to imagine doing anything because of overload. That hasn't been the case over these past eleven months. Most weekends, the calendar is totally open. Even most evening nights. I've liked the ability to plan something last minute, like a walk with a close friend yesterday morning, before both of us dug too much into our day. I want to preserve that sense of space and ability to do whatever my mood is when the time arrives, post-pandemic. To keep space in my calendar. And so, the other day, when I saw a two-month Natalie Goldberg workshop that seemed perfect, I stopped short of registering, because when I started to put all the three hour sessions in my Saturdays, I realized that I would no longer have an open weekend for two months. I didn't register.

It's been a good quiet at times. Stillness. Sleeping pets. Steady habits, good ones, with Nan. And even days, like today, when a mood takes ahold, an afternoon of cooking and a good homemade dinner, some writing, and some spacing out help cure.


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