Mary Beth Writes

Do you see their faces?

The beautiful woman who took her own life a few days ago. She was an ER doctor as well as director of the Emergency Department in a NYC hospital.

The little 5-year old girl Skyler, whose mom and dad are EMT’s in Detroit. They must have brought the virus home to her. 

Old couples, each of them them holding photos of each other, separated by this terrible disease.

John Prine, Adam Schlesinger, Ellis Marsalis, Terrence McNally

I could go on and on but you have pictures and names in your mind, too. Every day we see and hear more stories of these losses.  (In Vietnam over a period of roughly ten years we lost 58,000 people. As of today, we have lost more than 57,000 Americans to Coronavirus.)

I don’t know what it does to us to see faces who are gone, hear the grief in their loved ones’ voices, read and hear part of the stories of the famous and the ordinary people who have died and are dying.

But if this is a diary of what we are encountering in this time of quarantine from Coronavirus contagion, then we have to think about what it means to us personally and collectively to lose so many people so quickly. When it didn’t need to be this devastating. When the loss is real, the anger is real, and then back to devastating grief.

Sometimes I feel as if the news pelts us, like hail. We are changing, I am sure.  

This morning the weather was mild and sometimes there was even a sheen of light and sunshine, so I spent three hours outside, mostly in my yard.  I dumped out onto a tarp the garbage bin of the semi-composted stuff Len and I had discarded since last September. Lots and lots of coffee grounds and eggshells, veggie and fruit trimmings.  Next year we will not put citrus rinds in the bin. Live and learn.

The next bin was stuffed with leaves. Then there was the bucket of ashes from burning sticks all weekend.

I spent much of my morning dumping, mixing, and carrying buckets of this slurry to the places where I want to plant vegetables later in the spring. I decided gardening isn’t about "making things happe". It’s more like being a church or theater usher.  One ushers the dirt and seeds into helpful places and then ushers the weeds back out to where they can congregate in a dump.

I guess I'm a dirt facilitator and earth usher.

I have five miles on my pedometer this evening. I’m out energy, words, and thoughts. 

What did you facilitate today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I made French bread. First time in more than 40 years. I may make bread more often now.
Mary Beth's picture

Wow! Where were you 40 years ago and why did you make it then and for whom? Making bread isn't nearly as hard as convincing one's self to do it. IMHO.

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Remembering Stuff

“I’m getting so old. I just can’t remember anything anymore.”

Okay, I understand and accept that forgetfulness is weird and awkward. We talk to someone about this movie and that house repair and that small restaurant from which we ordered amazing food a few weeks ago and it feels as if we are talking with 95% of the words we used to know. What was that guy’s name? Where did I read that really powerful thing about political strategy now?

Ayad Akhtar's "Homeland Elegies" & Do We Understand Colonialism?

I heard part of an NPR / Fresh Air interview with writer Ayad Akhtar so I borrowed the book from the library and read it.

In the 1960’s his parents earned medical degrees in Pakistan and then emigrated to the US where Ayad was born and has lived all his life. (His parents are now deceased.) His dad was a highly respected cardiologist. In the 1990’s, when Donald Trump was having heart issues, Dr. Akhtar was flown to NYC to examine Trump.

Susan's Birthday Questions 10/19/2020

(One decorates for October birthdays with orange trees.) 

Last week was my birthday. My niece Susan sometimes sends me birthday greetings where she asks excellent questions. She doesn’t know I still have the card she sent six years ago; I meant to answer her questions in the blog I had then, but I never got around to it.

Stereotypes Day

Today is October 12th - Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Not Columbus Day, okay?

I was in the process of giving birth to one of our kids and it was getting on towards midnight. The midwife wondered whether our baby would be born on the day we were in or whether it would be a few more minutes and then the child would have the next day as their birthday.

10/11/2020 This Crazy Advent We're In Now

This painting is by Andrea Kowch  http://andreakowch.com/

...

Regarding Time: It’s been about a million months since the quarantine started. It will be an at least one epoch if not two, until a vaccine is available to quell it. Election Day is here now (I’ve already voted, have you?) yet it feels as if it will never be done and gone. Even when Nov 3 arrives we could be in for more epochs of anxious and angry waiting as ballots are tallied, argued over, recounted, all while lawyers and politicians fight and scrap.

Quarantine Diary #204 10/4/2020 3 Short Takes

Three things to say today and none are about our goatish, swag-bellied, canket-blossomed president. How to create a Shakespearean insult. 

1. I just read this WONDERFUL and REMARKABLE book! The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

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