Pandemic journal: Day 34

Thursday, April 16, 8:09 AM

Day 34 of voluntary social distancing, Day 31 of county shelter-in-place, Day 28 of statewide shelter-in-place

Theme of the week: You are here 

It’s very hard to settle down to writing. And I was tired to begin with, having gone to bed rather late, and stiff from needing to dance and stretch. At least I got through a few things last night that I’d been putting off. 

Today I’m looking forward to dance class and my video chat with SD. Seems there ought to be something else for me to look forward to today but nothing comes to mind. I’m tired and sluggish.

Good thought: That AS wrote me a fabulous poem.

Good thought: That I can move my body at any time today; I don’t have to wait for dance class.

Good thought: I can do laundry today, so I’ll have masks after that (an order arrived Tuesday)

Good thought: AGB sent me a lovely eye pillow she made.

Dark blue eye pillow with wax print of dark and lighter green circles

Good thought: I talked to J yesterday. It’s so good to catch up and at such length. 

Good thought: we ordered pretzels for Saturday. 

(Bad thought: Owl’s Mandarin music teacher told us to do homework. I’m not going to. If she calls on us, I’ll just have to say we didn’t do it. I don’t care really, and I don’t even want to bother telling her I think it’s nonsense, but really: it’s nonsense.)

Good thought: the neatness of this notebook, the crisp white and the smooth lines, and how well my handwriting shows up on it even when the ink fades into thinness 

Cursive handwriting (lighter on one side, darker on the other)

(Weary thought: I don’t know what to have for breakfast. Perhaps it’s for just such occasions that toaster waffles and cold cereal were invented. Done.)

Good thought: I still don’t yet know anyone with COVID.

Good thought: outside air. I went to get the CSF yesterday, with an improvised mask made from a hankie and two rubber bands, and though it was hard to breathe through and I took it off as soon as I got a little away from people, it felt better to be with it than without. It was a way to communicate to others: I’m trying to keep you safe; you’re not going to get sick from me. I didn’t encounter as many people as last week and everyone kept more distance. I still saw plenty of people without masks but I also saw plenty with. Half and half now, maybe. I haven’t yet left my familiar neighborhoods… I wonder if other locations feel different. 

Short-haired Asian woman wearing sunglasses and a face mask improvised from a white hankie

Good thought: CSA strawberries yesterday, first of the season and Owl was so excited to see them, they did a sort of dance and exclaimed over them. It’s true, they were delicious. And every delicious thing seems to taste ever so much better these days. We got oranges too. We’re running a little low on fruit, so, I’m grateful. And for herbs too: tarragon, parsley, dill. All such treats right now.

I had 2 freezer waffles with a generous pat of butter and doused in syrup. The waffles were too hard, the syrup too sweet, but now Owl is having one and leaving me alone to keep writing, so. 

I felt lethargic all afternoon, though it seems like I did something??? Oh, we had a family Zoom which was as needed and as overwhelming as always. I played around with using my old travel photos as virtual backgrounds so that was rather fun (and I’ll add some more today, maybe). I tried something I’ve been meaning to try for some weeks: applying watercolor or gouache to tracing paper to see if it would be saturated enough to make a rainbow for our window: no. Owl made me a coloring page resembling the Forest app; it’s extraordinary. E made dinner and it was good; I don’t remember what I did during that time but I might just have been recovering from my walk (my feet hurt a bit, still). I probably read a bunch of stuff online. Newsom has made more statements about the possible ways a lifting of SiP could look like, and it’s sobering but also welcome to know our local (though not federal) government is thinking about it and has a plan — but I was thinking about what this means for preschool. It’s a weird time to be president-elect of the board. I don’t feel particularly up to the task but I’m not sure anyone else would either. 

I do feel bad, or I would if I had the bandwidth to feel bad, that Owl’s experience of me during this time is a more prolonged and more intense version of what I was already like on many afternoons, which is to say: checked-out, impatient, detached, inaccessible, grim, irritable, unavailable. I’m afraid — in a  distant, can’t-be-bothered kind of way — that what they’ll take away from this time is that Mama doesn’t want to be with them, Mama gets annoyed at every little thing, Mama is rigid and picky and fretful. All of which are true! In reading this over I realize this version of Mama actually sounds a bit like certain parental figures in my childhood… well, I guess I can live with that. 

I suppose for today I should try to remember my theme of the week and just make the most of where I am (glum), with non-attachment to outcomes. Try to do some tasks and make some food and just do my best. 

Savory bread pudding with ham, sesame bread, and greens

Sending loving thoughts to leaders trying to create plans for their communities.