On mourning and melancholia. On the loss of friends and lovers. And the loss of women’s rights to abortion in the U.S. so courageously gained 50 years ago. Melancholia must give way to action. Change via feminist transformation cannot be counted on to remain. Stay engaged! The struggle continues!
Sheena and I (May Day, 2019) Two years after retirement she finds this five-year-old journal entry —Sept 5, 2015: the serendipity of today Such a beautiful first class day. Two courses began - and I returned home to pass out in a deeply pleasurable nap of sheer exhaustion at how intense these initial encounters can… Continue reading Pandemic Journal 11/1/21: a retiree remembers classrooms students hallways colleagues gardens mentors
Today the surgeon Dr. Mary Stephens dug with some determination into the sweet spot where the temple arteries run on the right side of my face directly in front of my ear. The arteries were delicate and elusive and it seems to have taken longer than usual to extract a piece of the artery to examine. A delicate specimen that indicated success in her handiwork. During the hour I was wide awake on the pillow, I turned my head on its side. In my ear throughout the procedure I hear a clanging and squishing and the inaudible gestures of a surgeon's blade. I resort to pranayama yoga breathing in my mind and in my mouth and in my lungs. The discipline calms me as a I think how this day surgery is definitely a very good strategy for torture movie scripts. Excruciating begins to encompass it.
Stuck inside a pandemic at a moment when the monolith south of the border is dominated by a fascist, it is sometimes hard to focus on the view up close - the provincial politics that undermine our well-being, the city politics that juggle a budget vulnerable to COVID effects and a vengeful governing provincial party that hates our progressive voting patterns. Sometimes it is hard to sleep.
Today I made a delicious vegetarian curry for friends who were returning from their first day at school during a pandemic. The children, their parents, and I shared the curry on the front patio. Socially distancing, of course, especially since Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, had just boasted the UCP didn’t spend money to protect the children from the COVID-19 pandemic. Why? you ask. We have our hunches -- he doesn't care much for human beings. And had already distributed billions to rich white oil men running oil companies into the ground and out of province.
I am so very fortunate, I tell myself. Retired and on my own. Not to mention a lifetime of white privilege, class privilege. Location. Location. Settlers have more than a leg up. And now I’m out of the loop of daily care for a young child. I don’t know how I would manage single mothering during COVID. Probably badly. Now I have no one to send to school or not. Home school or not. No classes to prepare. No papers to grade. No schedule to adhere to. The end of summer approaches and I’m writing less, hanging around outside, walking more, leisurely weeding the buckets of thistles and pesky plants that rise up in all this rain and sun.