Mary Beth Writes

We once owned a children’s book of cutely ironic poems.  Can’t find the book this morning, but I can describe the exact poem I am remembering. There is a funny little dog in an askew uniform standing in the middle of a dusty road. He looks wrinkled and unhappy. 

Tied to him is a very big, bag-of-bones horse.

The poem reads:

 “I was standing in the road as quiet as can be,

when a great big ugly man came up and tied his horse to me.”

 This is how I feel. We didn’t do anything wrong. We were just living our lives, and suddenly there is this Looming Giant Coronavirus tied to us and there is nothing we can do but wait - hoping it doesn’t get bit by a fly and take off galloping down the road with us flopping and flailing in its wake.

As some of social media is reminding us, this is how great swaths of humanity are living their lives. Waiting at the dangerous border for their 20 minutes in US immigration court. Fleeing the only place they have ever lived to try to get to a refugee camp where no one wants them. Waiting for the doctor to call with test results. Waiting out the mysterious illness in a lethargic child. Sitting on a metal stool bolted to the floor in a crowded jail because you can’t afford the bail it will cost to get you out on this charge for a crime you did or didn’t commit … while reading about social distancing.

Take away all the other luxuries, dear God, but don’t mess with our beloved belief that we have our lives under control and nothing too bad is going to happen.

Just saying it again in case you aren’t paying attention. THIS WEEK is a crucial week. THIS is the week a lot of people who didn’t think they had Covid are going to start having it.  Guesses/estimates are that there are 10,000 infected people in many/most of our states. We don’t see these individuals yet because they are still harboring and sharing it. They/you may have it now. They/you might not get the sickness very hard; but those carrying the virus can infect others for 6 days before sickness appears. They/you may be passing it to your get-together pals, the other people at the bar or restaurant, to relatives, to the cashier at the grocery store.

Do your best to Quarantine yourself for a week until you know whether you have it or not.

If this sounds alarmist, it is.

We don’t know enough about the horse tied to us. 

Did you read the response letters to yesterday’s diary? People are sharing good info. 

Went for a walk yesterday. Earlier this week I purchased a $3 binoculars app for my phone. I used it yesterday to take some photos of birds which is why there is such a terrible, fuzzy, out of focus photo at the beginning of today’s writing. 

Quarantine as a good time for new goals?  I like crows. Maybe I’ll get better at Corvid pix in the next few weeks?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

Advent Light Post 12/24/2020

Judy Saunders. Photo of a Rose.

Lo, how a rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung,
Of Jesse's lineage coming,
As folks of old have sung.
It came a flower bright
Amid the cold of winter
When half-spent was the night.

...

Len and I were delivering presents to Chicago yesterday. Social distancing, with masks, but we did it and we saw our kids’ faces and there’s your Christmas, Ma’am.

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