Oddments

In search of story


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May 27.20: Coping

You’ve seen “The Scream,” yes, dear reader? This is “The Gasp.” I made this! I, who scotch-taped pieces of fabric together to make doll clothes, made this mask with actual needle and thread. And no blood stains! I did, of course, draw blood because one of the rules of sewing is┬áStab yourself with the needle, but for once I didn’t get it on the material. Sometimes I amaze myself.

When I stepped away from the blog a couple weeks ago, my intention was to do what I could to re-arrange my head to survive this barrage of grief and flim-flam. What does one do with such resentment and frustration and creeping hopelessness in isolation? One grabs a dust rag and follows the lead of her ancestors.

Yes, I’ve been cleaning. To be clear, my housecleaning would never pass inspection by my mother or grandmothers. But I told their ghosts to shove off. I’ve cleaned, thrown out, packed away. It is symbolic, of course, but it is also a proven way to clear my head. If I can dig into something physically, I can dig out mentally.

I have baked, continuing my search for the El Dorado of gluten-free blueberry muffins.

Gardening beckoned but opportunity was limited to occasional cold and soggy weeding. Now overnight it’s the Amazon. I have mourned the death of spring in keeping with this season of requiem.

I started to go out last week, feeling like one of these emerging cicadas.

I made a mask!

Physically I’m better, but still get short of breath and tired. Fortunately, I was born pokey so slowing down comes naturally to me.

I have missed you and been concerned about you, dear reader. I hope you’ve managed to keep safe and sane.


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May 14.20: Coping

Thus far, dear reader, I have coped by writing and by baking, two time-tested strategies for me. They aren’t working any more. A few days ago, we were bloodied once again through the reports of a terror attack on new babies and new mothers. That was one too many for me, awash as we are in grief and fear.

I’ve been sick, as some of you know. Nothing serious, just enough to keep me from being complacent. I don’t know that I had COVID; we still don’t know if my “presumed positive” son had it. We still don’t know much about COVID. “Don’t know” is the only wisdom we have.

Having seen my family only from a distance, unable to touch them, for two months, I think I have a sliver of understanding of what it might mean to die among strangers in Intensive Care.

I am disgusted and exhausted by the flim-flam.

I’m going to step away from the blog for a few days. Each of us has to find ways to stay human in this very dehumanizing time. I am looking for my ways.

Thanks for being with me in my blog. I worry about all of you and hope you endure.

 


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May 8.20: Coping

Sometimes perfect form

is jarring to the brain,

absolute alignment

inhospitable, profane.

A disordered kind of order

comes with emptiness;

we’re healthier by far

with a little bit of mess.

 

 

This, dear reader, is not an argument for opening up

before we are medically ready,

but only my commentary

on what is.

 

More thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

 


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May 2.20: Coping

In the tranquility of morning

I was focused on my toast

when the weirdest of small sounds

seemed a visit from a ghost.

No one, nothing, was about

except just only me —

what could I have heard?

Did I really want to see?

There it was, pathetic mess,

in painful black and white:

potting soil on carpet

a gruesome morning sight.

Seedlings knocked unconscious

lying there all messed;

What the heck? I queried,

at my expressive best.

How this could have happened

will ever be unknown:

did it jump off by itself

or was it somehow thrown?

It took its place among

the unsolved mysteries

I pondered as I vacuumed

on my hands and knees.

 

 

I have concluded, dear reader, that there are things that happen

just to make us nuts.