Showing posts with label COVID-Vivid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVID-Vivid. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Steadying as we go

I could have sworn that when I took this picture, it was to mark a patch of leaves turning autumnal L and I were both remarking upon. We remembered TB's reassurance back in March, even as the pandemic pressed in, that at least the days would start getting longer post the vernal equinox. 

And now here we are post autumnal equinox: Dot, dot, dot... dun, dun, dun...

But actually, at this point in the day--all I can see here is golden sun and the budding promise of the day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


My trunk like that of a tree trumpets

unexpectedly where before it had been quiet

and out of breath

My hand blooms open like a nest

busy and persistent, becoming in niceness

and folding to stress

Monday, September 21, 2020

So Many Meetings

So Too many meetings, an eternal leap--just so 

But some things are useful; anyone could do this. 

They say I mean a thousand things--warning:

I may have cried about it and made it important

but it's just the spin of the world, a spell shortened.

Doubts nest together like spoons--they question

smarts or scope or if I'm dope. I'll fiddle with my 

mic, memorize hopes cresting the tip of prayer,

behind my curtain of tongue, my blanket of sleep

and an inevitably unreadable ticking to tomorrow.

(Here I am bundled up for sitting outside for hours in barely 60 degree weather, looking like a fool, and I kinda secretly love it.)

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The one with the masks

Sunshine and puppies 

but also masks and distancing.

Eight + hours spent in the car

but also four hours of visiting

and lots of talks and talking

and smiling and sharing and handholding.

Time + travel have been weird and slippery

but I wish we'd visited sooner--

Also: I ate a Mexican pizza from Taco Bell. So many Desi and veggie friends were absolutely crushed that it's being retired and I'd never had it and didn't know what to think. Now I know; AFAIC, it can go.

Today will have to be about rest and prep and knowing Monday is coming.

Saturday, September 19, 2020


And we're off for the day, making the trip to Yellow Springs to see MIL who's had a few surgeries in the six months of the pandemic. Four hours there and four hours back, and the plan is to return home later tonight so we don't expose MIL to our germs or pick up icky hotel cooties ourselves.

(I've packed an extra change and puppy supplies, just in case!)

Friday, September 18, 2020

Underneath it all

 I wonder what Big A's grandmom, described in this NYT thing as "Louise Lasky, who operates the Teddy Bear Hospital of New City, N.Y." would think of this, as Nu has been doctoring teddy bears too: 

That's (1) a gift shop teddy (2) A sad teddy with their mask on (3) a happy teddy with bruises, an extra eye (and Nu's eyebrows!!). As Big A summarized on FB "When your child is talented, and spooky."

Today started off as too much and ended with the news of the loss of RBG, and then the texts and emails from sisters as we had lost one of our own/as though we'd lost one of our own. I think of her 80+ old body doing those 20 pushups a day and working with her trainer because she knew how much was at stake; I think of her making it possible for so many of us; I think of her learning and doing better when it seemed like she didn't immediately get it right... I wish her a peaceful rest and I wish all of us safe passage into a better world. I hope it comes soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

A Day


Another day, another week of classes done, another Covid test in one of these tents with a very gentle health tech who thinks small colleges are doing better than the bigger ones around us. 

Another set of dinners delivered to new parents, two new babies met from a great distance, a chat in the sunshine with JG (it had gotten chilly and my coat was in the car, so she stood me in a spotlight of sunshine to warm me up), and a very hungry drive home. 

Got home, collected my household around me for hugs and leftovers for dinner.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Today is enough

I can't even seem to word why I'm so tired and defeated. Big A thinks my weltschmerz is creeping higher. Kids and work and volunteer work usually help to distract me, so I'm going to try that first, then if those fail--a walk, a nap, some reading.

Last week's picture of weeds, and native cone flowers, and a distracted monarch to remind me to go outside today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020


The start of Week Four of the semester, and here I am getting home (while it's still light out even!) like some freakin' pandemic champion. School and class feel more manageable. I got corrected on ableist language by a student while lecturing, and responded without (too much) defensiveness, and consequently feel like a good person.

Back in the before times while we were hosting 4Fs (Fun Friday Film Fests) BS used to say that turning into our driveway made her feel like she was in a Studio Ghibli movie. I see bunnies, butterflies, deer, turkeys, geese, groundhogs, and chipmunks all the time, so--same girl, same!

Also, the kids find it hilarious that in some low-key way, I'm always expecting a pony to pop its head over the slatted side gate to say hello when I get home. (I've never had a pony in my life.)

Monday, September 14, 2020

Six Months; Six Words

indefinite night-day-night / no insight

(Six months since our stay-at-home order and a six-word memoir inspired by the NYT pandemic poetry piece.)

Sunday, September 13, 2020


Nu had a social hang in our backyard, I had a few, Big A finished a grueling two-week set of shifts, we FaceTimed for an age with At, Nu and I flopped out companionably in various places around the house, we got caught up with laundry and homework (Nu) or laundry and grading (me), checked in with friends, pet all the new pandemic puppies on cousin chat, made tentative plans for a December reunion, and I made some pretty, pretty dinner plates.

The weekend was the warm embrace/calm space I needed it to be. 


<Once more through the Sunday evening blues>

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Portraits of the day


Morn                                  Noon                             Afternoon                 
Morning (LB)Noon  (RM)Afternoon (BS)               
                     (Baker Woodlot with LB)            (Our driveway with RM)            (Nemoke Trail with BS and C Bear)           

Friday, September 11, 2020

A Lot

There's been a lot of this all week--gray, grainy, grimy weather and consequently there's been a lot of basic, blah moodiness. 

I'm pretty proud of how we've managed to come through three weeks of in-person classes with no spikes in our Covid numbers; of my students who are journaling like champions; my Nu who seems quite businesslike in handling their own online learning... 

And yet, everything is simultaneously sad and difficult--and feels like a lot to handle. 

In today's virtual faculty meeting, my colleagues were mostly on mute and off camera (by request), and it just emphasized how I never see them in the hallways anymore. And then at the end... the retirement resolution for JG--who'd shown up to my job talk, befriended me the summer I moved to MI, has been mentor and sister and friend...  and it was too, too much. I went looking for someone to give me a hug and got some from Nu, Big, A and (of course!) Scout  + Huck. "Surrogate hugs" as I explained to JG--the renowned hugger--in a call later in the evening through a third or fourth round of tears.

I'm trying to remember that when I took this picture at the end of some long day this past week, I thought I could see glimmers and shafts of light--what Pix and I and other Sacred Heart School kids used to call "heavenly blessings" when we used to try standing in these sunlit spotlights before exams. I can barely see them in this picture, yet I know they were there. 

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Badtime Story

Like siblings of yore on the landscape,

ribboned close always: rivers, railroads.

Playing--in plain sight, side-by-side, not hiding;

where you seek one--oh, look--there's the other.

Long, rowdy sibling things: one loud, one low--

now masked, now sparring--whatever--they are 

like pandemic warnings, insistent--more forlorn by the day:

I think I'm meant to mourn, and--following them--get away.


Note 1: We live between the river and the railroad, so I have lived experience of course; but this insight is from Krueger's This Tender Land.

Note 2: Toddler Nu used to pronounce the open e almost as a schwa eg. "Natflix" (for Netflix), "grat" (for great, which we still emulate for cuteness on family chat). 

Note 3: Things seem much quieter along the railroad these days--fewer goods traversing the continent or whatever--I don't know.

Note 4: I took this picture of the Red Cedar River last week; L claimed to be able to see hints of Fall.

Monday, September 07, 2020


When tongues tip to farewell

--fare well, fare wonderfully.

Like strangers, like heartbeat:

"Thank you for my childhood."

"Thank you for being my child."

* I tried to tell Scout this isn't yoga, but he just pouted.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

A Little Love / Chorus (On)Line

wait and know the coming / of a little love ~ Carl Sandburg

Beginning is quiet

a blink, a tap, then waking

our eyes, the screen, and yearning

I think about people 

we used to know, used to date   

how we lost them to love and--fate  

How we used to see them 

now and then in waning memories / 

when tagged in other people's new stories.

I hug care's sharp blade

through tongue and thoughts

histories, our hearts; hear it whistle

where they're not, no return

Why? Asking did the virus happen--

Are they ghosts? Are they ghosting?

Saturday, September 05, 2020



Today's quiet beginning--the Red Cedar River, someone's rock cairns, a blue heron waiting by the rapids, the solid comfort of L's footfall, patience, and advice by my side...

The rest of the day was gloriously kid-centered--only fair as I hadn't seen At all week, and actually--hadn't seen much of Nu all week between breakfast and dinner. The 21-year-old and the 12-year-old have been busy in the first weeks of school... as have I.  I did a ton of stuff before 10 am, including conferencing with a colleague about a new course. Then Nu and I drove up to Alma, bringing At's (delayed) Boss Day presents and treats with us. We met At at the MUN House and took a walk away from campus, each of us taking turns to call out which way we should head next. Then back-hugs and presents, and declarations of love. And love.

Nu and I headed to the new bookstore helmed by D whom we loved as our pastor when we used to go to Mt. Pleasant UU. And we visited, and congratulated, and browsed, and bought a pile of books. Then on to the antique store next door where I found a few bird-themed tchotchkes and Nu found old teddy bears (Big A's grandmother Louise--whom Nu never met--used to run a teddy bear hospital, so I find Nu's attention to teddies especially endearing). Then a conversation at the store with D and J  about their child K--an old student--and all three of us fittingly so happy and proud of her grad degree and the important work she's doing. One more stop to drop off a present for Nu's friend K and then finally back to Lansing. 

But wait! There's more! Nu actually has another outdoor playdate later in the evening--watching the new Mulan outdoors at a friend's place, and I drop them off. For the first time in months, Nu is not at home when I am. Next stop, I zoom to a virtual retirement party for J and M, and after an hour and half of stories and memories, I get choked up saying goodbye, although there's no way J and I won't be friends for a few more decades at least. 

And then after the nonstop social rush of the day, the absolute loneliness of the evening hits me. At is at college, Nu at M's, Big A napping before his night shift, Scout and Huck napping alongside him and not even caring about dinner time...  

Then the puppies wake up, and I feed them. And Big and I settle in with leftovers (the remains of the coconut soup and pao he'd made for my Boss Day yesterday!) to watch the first ep of Raised by Wolves--which is terrifying. I keep exclaiming about my heart thumping so hard--until Big A reaches for my wrist, counts my pulse, and tells me I'm fine. I'm so not. Doctors are so literal. Haha. 

Now to stay awake until it's time to pick up my Nu...