So much has happened between my last post and where I find myself today—writing in the midst of a global pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus COVID-19. I approach this page after a long morning walk while listening to episodes of The Slowdown that have accumulated since January 31st. It’s a Sunday morning that feels like a Sunday morning. It’s raining and I want to stay inside with hot tea & make a big breakfast—french toast, fried egg, and turkey bacon. Yesterday before the rain started, I ventured out to pick up wine I ordered online from the shop around the corner and went for a quick walk around the block. It felt like a Sunday morning instead of Saturday at 6:30 pm—streets and sidewalks near empty, cars parked by expired meters, upturned chairs stacked on tables in restaurant windows.
This time last year, I had attended the one-day Colrain One-Day Informational Retreat where I got feedback on the poems feeding my manuscript. I’m still working toward the manuscript now. Some but not all of my time will be spent on writing more poems. Some but to all of my time will be spent listening to and reading poems and posting the poems I read before lunch and dinner on Instagram & Facebook. Some time will spent on writing letters and postcards, and I’ll definitely have to put in 7.5 hours of work every weekday. Under the current set of circumstances, I will find myself attending meetings and events on Zoom, texting and calling friends and loved ones a little more, and vegging out on the couch. In a lot of ways today feels no different than where I would be otherwise. But somehow, even a stay-at-home advisory seems to restrict my thoughts.
As I stay at home, I want to use this time to take stock of what has happened between then and now. Normally, I would try to fit it into a single blog post, but my instincts tell me to chronicle each month separately, to give October, November, December, January, February, and March the space they deserve. Not sure how long this will take me, but I want to try. My thoughts are free to roam around the past, while my body and brain stay present and the world moves toward an uncertain future.