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.
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.
Why did I want to rid myself of this beautiful piano? Newly retired, I wanted to make the house sparser, less a revelation about the material debris. amassed during 26 years in any house. The boxes of papers. The books in piles and shelves. Collected objects, story prompts, dear debris I've amassed in beloved junk stores where I’ve wandered. The things that make a life. I would call this blogpost a dilation. The lens is turned to admit more of a scene that leads us down linked but discontinuous subjects. All of them find a woman in the frame. A daughter. A writer. A political leader. Her mother. A chef. And a cook, me, writing up a storm. A delicious surprise ending.
By day, I count the inequities now underscored and bathed in broad daylight by pandemic effects. The youth with no future. The aged warehoused in dead zones. The mothers whose workday suddenly expands with childcare, teaching, and at-home paid labour. For instance, in my old haunt - the university, academic women’s publications have fallen off precipitously since COVID-19 appeared. The pandemic operates like a magnifying glass of injustices. ...Once I went for walks in the ravine. Now I listen to the rain from underneath the covers. The monsoon that is late May and sometimes June promises to go on through the summer. My psychic drama.