Saturday, February 06, 2021

notes & things | 2/5/2021

The weather, as promised, is a special kind of suck. While I can deal with snow and I can deal with sub-zero cold, I hate when they pack a one-two punch that leaves the sidewalks ice-ridden and wind that, when catching you on the cross streets, nearly knocks you over into snowbanks. No less, that it persist for days until any sort of thaw. Thankfully, I've actually lucked out and the very worst of it seems to be hitting on or near the weekends, so I get a bit of a relief from actually having to navigate in the worst of it. I shouldn't be bitching, since actually all this started much later than usual in the season and December and most of January was mild-isg, but it still seems endless. So while it is snowing (again) and I don't have to go anywhere,  I am taking advantage of my free time  to make some blueberry bread, and later more soup (it's a go-to since I can just let it simmer on the stove and not be that attentive to besides dumping things in every once in a while.  Ditto on tomorrow's chili plans.) I've been slowly reluctantly doing some housecleaning while working my way through some writing questions for a forthcoming interview, that has me thinking about how my writing processes have changed in the past 20 years. How the poems themselves have changed. 

The past two weeks at the library have been a flurry of activity that the dawn of every semester brings in terms of ILL and reserves, so there seems to be less time for creative things. The percentage of classes on campus is still the same, but we seem busier, which may just be that people are finally acclimating to covid-world after a disorienting year and getting on with the business of education. I hope so.  But I also worry about variants and outbreaks and the bars/restaurants opening up again. How all of it can go so bad so fast.  We were barely paying attention (my own attention was so fixed on the election I had stopped obsessing over covid counts.) That second wave hit us and kept us down for awhile. I am more comfortable that the current administration is based in science and reality instead of conspiracy and denial, but there is a limit to even how much good they can do if people just continue to be selfish and stupid on the individual level.  

So I wear my masks and do my best and good god, will it ever end? A year ago, I was also bitching about the weather and lack of sunlight.  Was planning the Future Tense exhibit and going to movies and stressing over my full planner, but I did not even mention the virus until the very end of February here as it began to loom on my radar. I did not regularly worry that I might get sick and could possibly die just by breathing air. It's strange after a year to realize that, barring the months I was locked down home and anxious from more of a distance, this has been my whole reality for the better part of a year. That we ever congregated with people around a table. hugged friends or family, or made out drunkenly with near strangers seems a long ago dream.  That we ever sat in packed theatres or less-packed poetry readings.   I taught two sessions of a zine workshop in person to about 30 students the final week before lockdown.  We hosted an LGBTQ career event in the library that was decently attended and well-catered.  Had a socially distanced staff meeting the Friday before the campus closed.  Outside of public transportation, these are the last time I was around more than  1-3 people at a time in a room where we talked to each other.  I don't even like people or socializing all that it's strange to think what's missing from the last year of our lives, especially if you've lost someone. Especially then, and yet, my neighbors still party and my cousins still hang out in groups in bars maskless (and of course, in doing so, make all of this go on longer and more body-ridden than it has in other places.). I suppose their reality is different than mine., but I'd prefer not to have that sort of blood on my hands. 

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