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

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Desk Picnic

Like most people I know, I slept so much better last night and awoke feeling lighter. 

I'm loving the student energy in all my classes this week (OMG, long may it continue!). All of us, me included, seem a little less shell-shocked this term. 

I'm teaching in person, by choice, and I think it's the right decision for me. Everyone has been very respectful of social distancing requirements and health checks. It's almost like we're at some futuristic health celebration when the class waves their phone screens with the green health check marks in the air.

A teeny-tiny life hack for me: It was also the day I seem to have realized that my lonely desk-picnic lunches needn't happen on breakroom napkins. My contract doesn't preclude me from bringing bright things to keep me company as I scarf my lunch down between classes. Ha. And actually, not so lonely today as there was a KCP virtual lunch. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

At Last...


Four years ago, At and Nu were newbies to protest and I had a houseful of students. So much to love then and now. 

What will I do now that I don't have to be horrified every SINGLE second that we've Twittered our way to some new calamity? Huh?

I didn't get to watch the inauguration in real time, but took in a few texts here and there and then a Zoom to toast the new admin so "things feel more real." 

I really missed my WGS folks who have helped me keep my sanity in the last four years, mostly by making ad hoc traditions of marches and protests, and linners

I so wish we could be together in solidarity and community again. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Let's Goooooooooooo!!!!!

Felt like I was hitting the ground running this term, with syllabuses and diagnostics uploaded ahead of our start and even a mini lecture/poetry reading in honor of Dr. MLK Day the day before the term actually started! 

It would be nice if I could keep this up all term long. Just 13.5 weeks to go!

(P.S. Not pictured: Me all wired up and unable to sleep; up until at least 2 am--when I looked at the clock and despaired. I found this article on SEVEN types of rest on Melissa Ford's Stirrup Queens blog, loved it, and sent it to a bunch of people; I would have been sensible to have planned for some basic sleep at least.)

Monday, January 18, 2021

I Said, I Say

I said, I say

I'll rearrange for  my fingers to speak

to the clouds

unfolding like a migraine confession


I mean, I mean 

You've cried so much, your eyes

drop like pebbles

and wait to show you a way home 


I try, to free 

the mistakes I made as a parent

then I draw you,

my love, as a silent self-portrait



***********************

A detail from a mural in the Children's Garden (early morning walking date with L!).

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Side Eye

At sent this picture--in which Scout appears to be eyeing At a bit judgmentally as he packs to leave for college--to family chat. Surely offering At the book about doggies is Scout's attempt to make At reconsider his decision?

Talked to At on Twitter and chat today; and gosh--I miss him fiercely. Spent some time settling things in his room and ended up clearing out a decade's worth of video games, Popular Science, and Make Magazine. We've been in this house only four years and only four years in the Alma house before that, so this stash somehow made it through three moves. Yikes. 

Also yikes, as I leaned to get another piece of mail from behind At's bookcase, I twisted something in my knee and it has felt progressively weird. It feels... feeble now, although it didn't when it actually happened.

Finalizing all the syllabuses and diagnostics for first week today. And I'm laughing at myself because the smallest things get me excited sometimes.  My latest tweak is so superficial--I changed all the font to Garamond--and I'm so inordinately chuffed about it. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

"Beam Me Up"


Mostly teaching prep and house/meal prep (my Imperfect Foods box came) today. 

Big A was mostly experienced as a napper in various settings around the house (he's coming off a spate of nightshifts). 

This "Beam-Me-Up" action in the sky is from a long walk with Nu and B.S. and it made us chuckle. Lots of talk, sharing, support, and a huge, delicious loaf of BS's banana bread that Nu and I loved (i.e. have almost finished) this afternoon.

Rumpus Room sleepover tonight with Nu, Scout, and Huck, because At left for college this morning and this is how we cope. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Snapshot


Here I am, bookended by the two human babies who showed up randomly in their matching Christmas jammies for some Olympic-standard cuddling.

It snowed all day, so this was perfect.

(Nu and I are crushed that At will be heading back to college this weekend...)

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Pongal 2021


Most years we're already back at school before Pongal comes around and the usual celebration is something hurried when the sun is no longer high in the sky.  

This year, we got to celebrate in the sunshine and make our offering at a reasonable daytime hour, with fragrant narcissus and paperwhites rounding out the pongal rice and jaggery laddu on the offering tray. To the millenary vedic sun salutation sloka*, which I was translating for the kids as I went, I added a prayer for enough Vit. D to help us through the pandemic. 

Cousin P had sent the cousin groupchat a set of truly lovely pics of their traditional celebration replete with sugarcane, outdoor hearth, and silk-clad kids. So I sent this pic back to balance things out. 

Not pictured: The very un-Pongal looking kids, one in the Phoebe Bridgers limited edition Punisher sweater they got from their older sib and the other human kid in the pink Mean Girls/Karl Marx mashup tee I gave them.


----------------------------
*Japakusuma Samkaasham Kashyapeyam Mahadhyuthim,

Tamorim Sarva Paapagnam Pranathosmi Divakaram

[You radiant as the Japa flower, heir of Kashyapa, the creator of days

destroy my darkness and all corruption I pray to you, O Sun.]

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

You already know

You already know 

trees understand: even a pale wilting sun 

is better than none; I am human,

I love as a reversible history. 

You already know

If you call me "sunshine," I will answer

also: "they who love sunshine," try--

I've called prayers into every reverie. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Bigger than me

I knew I was in a new era ten years ago when I was listening to a song, and it didn't seem to be about me (in the way young girls/women are the automatic muse of so many pop songs). The song was Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence" and the words were: 

Oh my little girl
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

In my head, the "little girl" became a reference to Nu who had just told their first lie and had been reprimanded, and was now sad. 

Anyway--I was reminded of this because Tommy Raskin's life (yes, I haven't moved on) reminds me not of my own weltschmerzen, but of my children's and students' joy, their yearning for justice, for full lives, how the pandemic is the chief thief of joy RN, and their frustrations with the world... and it terrifies me.

(Pic from walk this afternoon with LB; Red Cedar River--the mallards followed me around!)

Monday, January 11, 2021

yes but also no


                    The instructions surprise:               perhaps I will solve gravity              or simply realize how unready 

                    "pour the saliva" they say              chorus my saliva's spectacle           how random, how to unbait sighs

                    I once described a snake                exist/lament/impact/about               the junction of having breath back

                    'pouring' itself down a hole             the scratching exhaustion               having my back, trusting offspring

                    the kids were so freaked out           of dying on tv every day                 to try to sidestep the cracks



Sunday, January 10, 2021

Spoke too soon...

There was so much sunshine yesterday--it felt brilliant and I thought I was handling things ok, but today was a bit of a BIG crybaby day. I disappeared to cry in my closet, I cried and looked for cuddles, I cried through some cuddles. I couldn't get it right; no one could get it right. I did the usual things that cheer me up (walk, star, snack, cook, bath, chats, distance meet, etc.), but nothing would take. At least I can say I tried

Kinda like I did with this holiday card, which I had printed but didn't mail... and probably will never mail at this point.

Apartment Therapy's astrology section forecasts that I will have a "fruitful social life" this year, so perhaps not all is lost? Ha.


Saturday, January 09, 2021

Peace Out

It was a peace-keeping kind of day around here: mediating between people who hadn't done their homework, people who'd fallen behind on housework, tracking down errant dishes (Scout and Nu, and At), errant books (At, Big A, Nu) providing emotional support for assorted causes from grad school apps to DnD character building, and trying to fake an interest in topics like conspiracy theories and eye boogers, etc.

Thankfully, my flu-shot site doesn't hurt so much anymore and I made some progress with work and teaching projects + got things arranged around the house in preparation for the crush of the oncoming weeks as term gets going. Excited! Anxious! 

Friday, January 08, 2021

Threnody

Waking in a labyrinth

with the outline of a lie

around us the dark blossoms


clinging like skin 

hidden in sight like the dark

set aside like a dementing task


hurrying to meet our dark 

corners of darkness--passion-

perversion--spill into you and me


returning to the dead lamp

you are furious as a rakshasa 

engorged, incoherent as sirens 


I'm as possessed as a pisasu

who possesses only you, and 

can die for it. Or live. Or shriek.



Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Wednesday's Insanity

What an extraordinary day. Woke up to news of Georgia electing Rev. Warnock (John Lewis' pastor) and Ossoff (a sometime John Lewis intern) to the senate. Breakfast felt like an upbeat celebration. In hindsight, I wish we'd had more time to sit with this moment.

At 3:00, Nu was on their daily online-school-accountability call with Grandma S, and were told that they really should go watch the news. So we did. Watching the storming of capitol buildings by white supremacists was surreal, frustrating, and infuriating. Activists from ADAPT and BLM certainly did not get the 'I'll open the gates, hold your hand going down the stairs, and take selfies with you' treatment from the police. 

By 4:00, I was in a meeting with one of the finance guys at work who wasn't interested in the news and kept referring to higher ed as "our industry." I can't help thinking this kind of obliviousness and corporatization contributed to the mess we're in.

Tuesday, January 05, 2021

Tuesday Communiqué


Let this unremarkable picture mark that I ventured outdoors. It was a cold, cold walk in the snow and wind with L; I would have demurred, but L will be up north with T, so this was my only chance for some time with her for the next week.

Off the top of my head, I do feel on the brink with: the inexorable pandemic, all the feelings uncovered by the Tommy Raskin tribute, the impending crush of work, and my lack of control over any of this.

Surprisingly, I was offered the Pfizer vaccine today--not because of teaching but because of my child advocacy gig; I said yes.

Monday, January 04, 2021

Monday Memoir

I saw the cutest snowperson when I ambled over to L's house earlier today! Their bangs are like mine, but even that detail couldn't detract from their quintessential cuteness.

Nu's back in (virtual) school today, so everyone is back to waking early so we can have breakfast together and build each other up... apparently, we do this with cuddles, and riddles, and jokes, and teasing putdowns.

Speaking of school... I miss my students. There're lots of meetings starting Wednesday and I started today by writing to every one of my advisees. It's re-entry time for all of us although classes won't start until after MLK Day.

Speaking of days... It's my Boss Day! My dinner pick was poke, which we made together; my entertainment pick was Veep... again!

After everyone headed off to their rooms, I found the tribute Rep. Raskins and his spouse wrote for their child Tommy and I weep to think that someone who brought so much joy and goodness to people didn't feel enough of it themselves. 

(Related: I think of Aaron Swartz frequently. Sometimes I think about them multiple times a week--especially when my students are doing internet research. I resent that I was introduced to Aaron Swartz through his obituary--it's a particularly downhearted way to learn about an extraordinary person. I thought I'd written about this before, but a quick search revealed nothing.)

Saturday, January 02, 2021

There and Back Again


This is what I saw when I woke up this morning and I took a picture of the backyard--through the window--because I didn't think I would go outside.

But... it's At's 'Boss Day' and he picked a really simple dinner--but we didn't have enough bread to make veggie melts for everyone, so I put on my big girl winter clothes and set off for Whole Foods.


I soon realized that the roads HAD been plowed, but Big A had abandoned his car in the middle of the driveway when he came home from work this morning and was taking a nap. So either I could drive the car that has "DEFUND 50" on the front plates (I have a feeling I'm too brown for those plates) or walk. 

So I walked.


Friday, January 01, 2021

Beginning as we mean to go on



A walk in the snow with these loves... one practice I've hoped for at the beginning of many new years. 

(Yes, it was just down the street to wish TB a happy birthday before curling up cozily for most of the evening--but I'm counting it as a tiny win for today.)

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Rising Up

I've loved this tree on the Red Cedar River from the first time I noticed it. Especially the branch that looks like it was laid low but decided to aim upwards anyway.

As we close out 2020 (with LB's food exchange, SD's Zoom party in MD, and calls and texts from all over the world), I want for all of us to rise up in every way in 2021.

And I'd really, really like to see my sister and parents.