Friday, March 20, 2020

shelter / nature

Today, the governor, who has turned out to be thankfully really competent in this chaos , has declared a shelter in place order, which is much needed since some people don't seem to be getting that this is a problem.  It would have probably been more useful a week ago, I suppose, but it is what it is.  Some day, when I can write again, there is probably poetry to be found somewhere in all of this--the clearness of the Venice canals because we're not stirring the sediment at the bottom.  The penguins wandering the Shedd Aquarium freely every day.  Nature without humans.   When I was working on extinction event for the Field Museum reading in the fall,  it was definitely more climate change focused--disease--outside of my occasional zombie apocalypse narratives, not even on my mind. But I will probably be working on some edits and sending out some bits in the coming weeks.   The larger mss. of which it is a part, animal, vegetable. monster is very much turning out to be focused on humans, nature and art--Lavinia Fontana's paintings of Antoinetta Gonzalez, museum diorama artists, the artist statement pieces.  I don't know if pandemic poems fit there, but now more than ever is a good time to see if so. Nature--comes and goes, but what is left afterwards--civilizations, societies, lost worlds uncovered by archaeologists.

There was a quote on facebook about remembering in darkest, scariest times, we turn to artists. It's nice (though I would argue that first we turn to the people on the front lines--medical staff, first responders, truck drivers.) But neverthless, art is the thing that soothes when the world cannot, and so much needs soothing and smoothing.  I will try to remember this as I get  impatient with the lack of focus in my brain now, for just about anything but rote tasks--cleaning the floors, organizing my booksheves, assembling books, but I can't really think or be creative right now, it's like my brain is too dull and foggy.  I am trying to live in this space of uncertainty and it perhaps the scariest space I could ever occupy and do not do well here.  Ever.  But especially now..


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