And just when we thought life was a given a never ending treadmill of home to work and back again with no reprieve COVID 19 showed up and slammed the door in our face. No questions asked just shut tight with whatever we might face all alone without our gyms and theaters and courts and spectacular spectaulars. Holy shit peeps, this got real zero to sixty, and somehow we’re all still flying high like trapeze artists. I don’t know about you, but I feel as if I am swinging without a net, just one second to the next, all unchartered, all frightening, all unknown, and yet, we are all doing it with finesse. Huge shout out to my teacher buddies and administrators, the special educators and para educators, and everyone else moving the cogs in the school system round and round and let’s not forget the scores of students sitting alone in their bedrooms or surrounded by family in shared spaces or those homeless kids seeking shelter and still logging in to google hangouts and zooms and youtube or whatever platform they can to stay connected and stay in school and stay sane and yeah still learn. You are all my heroes right now. Class of 2020, you are people we will write poetry about, sing hallelujah for decades about, for you are relinquishing prom and yearbook deadlines and graduations dates and final everything. You are stronger than you think. And we will find a way to hold on. A way to swing through the paces, and make this look effortless. A way to make this all work like magic.
Here we are. On our own couches. In the middle of our own living rooms. Reading an actual magazine. In loungewear. Bought online. Yeah. There are a few perks during the scary and dark days which have clouded our planet and forced us all indoors. I am not here to tell you what you should be doing to survive these days, but just wanted to let you know that we will, mostly, and I for one plan to celebrate epically on the other side.
Just when we all thought that getting through February was the biggest hurdle we’d face, through snow storms and chaotic debates, made it in and out of long work days and navigated shopping centers in frigid temps and facing winter challenges, we made it into March and ran smack into the hysteria and misinformation of COVID-19. Not that The World Health Organization isn’t doing what they can to spread truth, but we’ve been well-schooled to distrust the truth, repeatedly, and ad nauseam, so much so that doubting everything we hear or read from our reporters is the new normal. So, what to do in a crisis when we are several years into a reign of doubt? I’d like to suggest that we all take a deep breath, right now, inhale and exhale, and press play to watch the waves roll in and out. Just for a few seconds. Let’s start with that.
Los Angeles is crowded and busy and overwhelmed by its own populace, a city drowning in its own promises, but to this east coaster, traveling from a monocratic winter white, this California blue sky meeting an expanse of aqua ocean is all the elixir I need to refresh. Color therapy.
Flowers too. Brilliant blooms fluttering along vines, crowding through hedges, even in doorway pots, all singing the same happy tune. Hues encourage life. Pushing you to do the same with your short years.
Even in paradise I can still hear the faint trail of fear racing from media sites to newspapers and back, but for now, I’ll keep that crazy at bay, and soak in azure and magenta and teal. No filter needed.
Since his ink hit the parchment Shakespeare has been spot on, in understanding the complexities of the heart, the highs and lows of passion, unchecked ambition that leads to treachery, and everything else that makes up the human experience. Line after line from dozens of plays and sonnets are etched forever into capturing our collective predicaments. This past month I have been steeped in such verse, wrapping up the tearful Romeo & Juliet with Freshmen, falling under the justice of Hamlet with Seniors, and delighted by a stage performance of The Tempest; curiously, this week, my thoughts run straight to Macbeth. How could they not, right? Basically nothing on any of our screens is what it actually appears to be, our entire world of commerce and health gone topsy turvy, while revenge leaches out of every Whitehouse tweet; this is the stuff of our headlines, for in every direction we face, “Fair is foul, and foul is fair.” We are media addicts all, scrolling from meme to meme, filtering out our own crow’s feet to fetishize our own sphere of influence. As we look to replace the bloat king, who dyes his comb-over and sports a cheap spray tan, (not that I take issue with hair dye or make-up, in fact I’m all for looking your very best, but his external duplicity only mirrors every level of his notorious and self-heralded double dealings); I want more than anything to see what is. Let’s step away from the media barrage, and recall Macbeth, as he chided himself against his own false faith in the witches: “Infected be the air whereon they ride; And damn’d all those that trust them! ” Let’s stop trusting those who cause more helter skelter, more “fog and filthy air.” Let’s face ourselves as raw and naked and vulnerable as that will be.
Red in the white
With the strain and slant of black
These winter days push us to our limits and demand blood
The life the surge of all that we have of all we want of all period
Red splashes across this midsection of our February
Snow Day on repeat today!! let it snow, xxoo
My school district is infamous for never calling a snow day. Perhaps there is some logical reason we never have one even when in every direction other schools have cancelled, but I’m not privy to any reason beyond yankee pride. Thankfully, students and teachers alike miraculously make it despite the scary road conditions or the below freezing temps. But yesterday school was called, and it felt like a gift for sure. No rising in the dark, no trying to figure out how to maneuver out of the snowdrifts before our plow guy does his job, no slippery slide hoping to stay on the road, just me in my pj’s for hours sipping tea and watching the white stuff fall fast and heavy. Been living in a snow globe for months on end but today felt like a peek into a wondrous winter wonderland.
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