Pandemic Journal 26/6/22 — when “death leaves us homesick” 

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!

Pandemic Journal 12/2/22: The Bridge – what yoga means to me

Yoga means “to yoke”, to join, to bridge. “Only connect”, wrote novelist E M Forester when I read his famous novel Howard’s End in my first undergraduate English class in 1969. My professor said: Only connect. For me, now 
more than fifty years later, 
yoga’s connections expand into a rejuvenation 
of the body and the mind. Yoga means holding out for more. Not giving up or giving in. It means giving up. Giving in. Yoga means sensual pleasure 
and the erotic spring. It means contemplative disembodied reflection. Yoga means somewhere between these spaces
of opposition -
an ease in whatever emerges.

Pandemic Journal 11/1/21: a retiree remembers classrooms students hallways colleagues gardens mentors

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

Pandemic Journal 9/1/2022: Excision

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.

Pandemic Journal 8/1/2021 – Simone de Bébé

Boxing Day 2020 It was a clear day. Warm for a city not too far south of the prairie taiga. The temperature had risen to just below freezing. This walk with Helen wound its way through Riverdale along the river. We stopped to investigate a perfectly round hole in a hollow tree, the work of… Continue reading Pandemic Journal 8/1/2021 – Simone de Bébé

Pandemic Journal 12-29/8/2020 — The necessary tedium of writing home improvement uplifted by a visit to a lake, market, garden, river — & bleak news — in short, August

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.