Monday, February 15, 2021

Basement Biker*


There were triathlons in the old days and there may be outdoor bike races again someday, perhaps even as soon as the Ides of March...

But for now I get to see Big A do his thing in the basement--and it's a way more accessible spectatorship. (And not just for me, he has quite the fan club globally and at work.)

* I've been calling him "Basement Biker" and the song version is basically just "Paperback Writer" plagiarized for my own snarky purposes.

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Concise Bharatha

This isn't my birthplace and I am 

louder for my heart is misplaced;

I dwindle but first I do no harm.

Then I turn calm, you must come 

too--time shrugs on, on its own. 

*

He hugs the walls when he walks

my sister says of our dad.

We should have bars in the shower 

my husband says of my dad.

I think of my dad--


mightiest of his four brothers

how he sat all his brothers on his 

meaty biceps--or was that Bhima

also second-born--I'm confused

by the words rolling in my mouth.

*

It's easy to break, ask water--what's 

next in the shadow of time's coming.

Of first learning to trust every day's 

ordinary dance, stepping to calm, 

to harm; saying: I'll take it.


--------------------------

Notes: 

My father actually has six brothers, but my youngest uncle is seventeen years younger than dad and so the five older brothers were routinely referred to as the Pandavas in dad's childhood. Dad, although affected by polio as toddler, was somehow also the strongest and sportiest brother--captain of several teams in both school and college. 

I routinely confused stories about dad and Bhima when I was a kid. Still do. I don't know if seating all the brothers on his arms was a dad thing, a Bhima thing, or a dad thing inspired by Bhima... and I'm not going to try to find out. Naturally, I was shaken when my sister told me this morning how weakened he's become because he looks not very different in photos and when we video chat. 

The Mahabharatha because it is so long (the longest!) and has so many embedded frametales sometimes works on me as a reminder of how life is transient. Lives get lost in that huge narrative, and somehow recognizing individual insignificance is calming? Here, I'm reaching for an abridged version of that fatalistic calm.

Distance is a huge in the pandemic, and I yearn to see everyone 'back home' knowing it may not happen for months or even this year. So the other part of what I was trying to do was to call back to the old country "Bharat/Bharatha."


Friday, February 12, 2021

in carnations

Yes, I am almost lost in

this small, intimate forest 

from the supermarket florist

(carnations I bought myself).


I embrace their candy beauty

how gracefully their economy

aligns ( just so you know--

they must have cost <$7.99).


I address their bodies with 

eye caresses, knowing the dears 

may last for weeks--or for ever 

(if you're counting in flower years).


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Ordinal

The view from my "classroom" (previously the yoga/zumba room) in the rec center. There's something mesmerizing about that speckled sky and the in-between-classes emptiness of the walkways. 

I sat in a pool of sunshine during group discussions as I didn't know if the sunshine would last until I was out of class. (Reader, it did not.)

But... I'm all caught up in class, fit in about seven different student meetings (everything from honor societies, to MacCurdy, DEI, and Honors Day), got in a quick visit and hugs with At, drove home listening to the impeachment case, ate the egg sammies Big A made for me (the rest got Culvers per Nu's Boss Day request), celebrated Nu, hung out with Scout and Huck, ate a ton of chocolate... all of it satisfying different points of my soul. 

A full day of meetings tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Shorts/Shrugs

Morning:

I asked my mentor 

to send gifts of time

(I have no mentor)

(I barely have time)


Noon:

if the moment comes 

it will be innominate

when the cure comes

I'll seem unsentimental


Night:

we think only of bones 

now afloat in this stew

while we thank the flesh 

caught anew in every bite



Tuesday, February 09, 2021

WFH*

I didn't meet the health-check requirements at work, so I declared today a WFH day. I had to. 

Pre-pandemic, it would have been a day where I talked myself into showing up, because canceling three classes over flu-like symptoms would be "weak." But in the pandemic, it was the responsible thing to do, and I talked myself into assigning asynchronous work and emailing an FYI to my chairs in ENG and WGS. 

I'm likely experiencing side effects from the first Moderna shot I received yesterday. But what if it isn't? What if that doofus, with his mask worn as a chinstrap who came up to talk to me at the store this weekend and was so upset I told him to back off, gave me Covid already?

I ended up monitoring the important stuff and sleeping a significant amount. But up until about 4:00 pm, I felt a fair amount of anxiety from knowing I wasn't where I was supposed to be. Then I peeped Big A and Nu taking a walk in the backyard with Scout and Huck, and the day shifted into home-mode. 

__________

*Everyone uses "WFH" to mean "work from home," but it'll never not look like an abbreviation for swear words to me.