A meditation on a pandemic life of privilege. As a fairly recent retiree, I was an early adopter of staying at home having followed the sorrowful and ruthless pandemic's progress through China and Asia and then Italy and Spain and Europe and now the hapless USA and Canada and Mexico and on through India - and well all around the globe. Such a long and torturous road. In the hope that poetry is contagious (we know it is therapeutic) -- here is a poem by one of my very favourite poets Phyllis Webb, long-time resident of Salt Spring Island on the wavy west coast edge of Canada's Pacific Ocean. The poem in the video is voiced by yours truly. Behind the voice, you will sense the pandemic hum of the oven baking salmon for dinner, the whirr of the computer cooling down, the whirr of the furnace heating up as the temperature drops to -22C shortly after a snow storm. Such is a lucky life at latitude 53.
This pandemic, like a dark bird of history pierced the thin membrane of our personal world. Ripped open we feel the call of friends lost and and found. Their voices sound in our dreams. We bear witness to our loss. Our bounty. And reach across to others. ...In this new era, COVID-19 time, this impulse to connect, an essential element in our well-being, is enabled by our digital technology. Isolated in our homes or wherever we find ourselves, connections stretch out the minutes of our day into a zone of contemporaneous aliveness. We humans peer at each other through machines. Our bodies relax or contort into awkward postures scrunched down on a chair - or standing, our weight on one foot, at the sink.
In recounting the process that led to his life as a single father, a man with the financial means to give up paid labour describes how he quit his lawyer job and migrated from his homeland to enhance his life as a parent. His young son was born via a surrogate. And his access to… Continue reading On “good enough” balance: parenting, work, & adoption
Winter solstice is in the rear view mirror. This year, spring is once again on its way as I write. Six hours and nineteen minutes into a next year. Every day creeps closer to a high rising summer. Yesterday afternoon was a solstice celebration of connection. Acres of food, hours with friends, a happy visit. Though I did miss all the beloveds too far away or stricken with illness or long gone.r
My spirits are lifted up by good conversation, art, music, and frequent visits to a gym nearby. A public recreation centre, it serves a local community that includes Chinatown and Little Italy, a Somalian community, Indigenous peoples, as well as well as other settler populations. The average salary in the area is a modest $34,000… Continue reading Retirement 101 – the gym