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.
Pandemic Journal 27/3/2020 – only connect
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.
Mill Creek War Room Communique #3 — “We Have To Keep Our Eyes Open” (an interview with Ece Temelkuran)
“ “During the 1970s there was a war on politics in our education system – a zeitgeist was imposed such that politics was seen as dirty, boring, unnecessary. It became the norm for people to say ‘I hate politics!’ without realising that is actually one of the most political statements that can be made. If you say ‘I hate politics!’ you are removing yourself from the public sphere, and are rejecting the ability to be a political subject. You are submitting yourself to a higher order, a powerful ruler…” — Ece Temelkura
Mill Creek War Room Communique #2— ‘AxeIt’, the new ‘Wexit’
AxeIt (After Kafka) Franz Kafka on the prairies But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone.... A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka, Letter to… Continue reading Mill Creek War Room Communique #2— ‘AxeIt’, the new ‘Wexit’
‘inside this quietness’
Enjoying a visit by a poet so very much. Our conversations prompt me to remember my own formation as a writer and a woman. This is one of those unexpectedly powerful transitional moments that occur when we retire. You find yourself thinking about possible futures and then your past arrives as a lesson to guide you.