Showing posts from June, 2021

Later, Awhile: of Straw Hats and Visors

 OK who's thinking of alligators and crocodiles, as well as headgear? Light blue golf visor, the kind held by a sproingy cord around the back of the head, with a pattern of birds; and a straw hat. Settle in, I'm about to extend a metaphor. I've always had a big head. Possibly also metaphorically, but I'm talking about physically. As in, it's hard to find hats to fit.  Luckily, my sister has kept me well-stocked with adjustable golf visors, which are awesome. They keep the sun out of my face and let me stay cool--they don't retain the heat a baseball cap would.  However, lately I've found that visors give me a headache if I wear them too long. Also, they don't protect the top of my scalp from biting bugs or the sun. (It's been a while since the part in my hair burned--THAT's not fun.).  So I've "adopted" a straw hat from my husband, just to try it out, and I like it. I'm sampling other straw hats, just for grins.  The point is, s

When is a Pandemic Over?

Not yet.  Not even later this afternoon, when all the people in this household will be fully vaccinated, or two weeks from today, when our immunity should be ramped up and ready to go.  Not even when this country reaches some magical number of vaccinations or some magic percentage of the population vaccinated, which will in theory (or reality) mean that we humans can no longer transmit the virus in this country. Or any of the above in any other country, either.  Not before the world has access to vaccines.  But not even then. Increasingly, I'm understanding that the pandemic may never be over. Not for those "long-haulers" who continue to experience the effects of the disease.  Certainly not for those, in my extended family and not, who lost loved ones and were prevented from the social rituals of mourning that we humans have developed to accompany us through those difficult times of life.  But--ideally--it won't be over for all of us. When do we stop grieving a parent

Open Gate

Yesterday I met online with some people about a future event. An online meeting? Be still my heart.  Trust me, a meeting about the future is a big deal--a bigger deal than it might seem. We can now plan, tentatively, for future in-person events. Thanks, science of vaccines! (Get vaccinated.) For the past fifteen months, I haven't thought much about the past or future. I haven't often allowed myself to reminisce, no "gee, remember restaurants?" or "oh I can't wait to"s.  On occasion, sure. Watching TV--"was this filmed before the pandemic or in the early days?" "nope, they HAVE masks but are taking them off, when was that?" But mostly, it never felt like a useful way to spend too much time.  That meeting, though, opened a mental gate. In the evening, I suddenly remembered the joy of having someone else bring me food that they'd cooked. The food didn't need to be gourmet or expensive or fancy. Just the act of being elsewhere, in

Recent Books

  Last week I wrote about The Road , Cormac McCarthy's litmus test of hopefulness. It occurred to me later that I post about books on Instagram quite a bit, and there I share sentences on Sunday (and on Twitter: #SundaySentence is a fun hashtag to browse). And I share other book thoughts some other days, too.  Just to mix it up from photos like these.  For example. Recently, I've posted about Beloved , by Toni Morrison. Twice !  Also about The Woo Woo , Lindsay Wong's memoir about ice hockey, demons, and more.  I'm still thinking about the stories in Jack Wang's collection, We Two Alone . And Ross Gay's appropriately named The Book of Delights .  And Alexander Chee's How to Write an Autobiographical Novel . So good. I keep photos of some of his words on my camera roll, for the times when I wonder if it's all worth it. One of the best parts of reading more widely in the past year is learning how much I enjoy it--and one of the most difficult parts is seei

Thoughts on The Road

Recently, our book club* read The Road , by Cormac McCarthy. It's still with me--I haven't been able to move our copy to a shelf, although I pick it up to try. Then I flip through it again and return it to the coffee table.   Not gonna lie, I was nervous about reading it. Back in the days of All The Pretty Horses , my reader friends said of his work, "It's really good, but it's bleak."  And then along came No Country for Old Men , which I didn't see or read for the same reason.  So, 2021: Did we really need more bleak? In fact, the book club actually picked all our books in June of 2020, and I was pretty sure we wouldn't be wanting to read about bleakness. But thank goodness for vaccines. And when the book club picks a difficult book to read together--well, isn't that the point of the book club in the first place? So, if "enjoy" is the right word to use to describe this book, I enjoyed it. It's thought-provoking, and challenging, and