Mary Beth Writes

Do you see their faces?

The beautiful woman who took her own life a few days ago. She was an ER doctor as well as director of the Emergency Department in a NYC hospital.

The little 5-year old girl Skyler, whose mom and dad are EMT’s in Detroit. They must have brought the virus home to her. 

Old couples, each of them them holding photos of each other, separated by this terrible disease.

John Prine, Adam Schlesinger, Ellis Marsalis, Terrence McNally

I could go on and on but you have pictures and names in your mind, too. Every day we see and hear more stories of these losses.  (In Vietnam over a period of roughly ten years we lost 58,000 people. As of today, we have lost more than 57,000 Americans to Coronavirus.)

I don’t know what it does to us to see faces who are gone, hear the grief in their loved ones’ voices, read and hear part of the stories of the famous and the ordinary people who have died and are dying.

But if this is a diary of what we are encountering in this time of quarantine from Coronavirus contagion, then we have to think about what it means to us personally and collectively to lose so many people so quickly. When it didn’t need to be this devastating. When the loss is real, the anger is real, and then back to devastating grief.

Sometimes I feel as if the news pelts us, like hail. We are changing, I am sure.  

This morning the weather was mild and sometimes there was even a sheen of light and sunshine, so I spent three hours outside, mostly in my yard.  I dumped out onto a tarp the garbage bin of the semi-composted stuff Len and I had discarded since last September. Lots and lots of coffee grounds and eggshells, veggie and fruit trimmings.  Next year we will not put citrus rinds in the bin. Live and learn.

The next bin was stuffed with leaves. Then there was the bucket of ashes from burning sticks all weekend.

I spent much of my morning dumping, mixing, and carrying buckets of this slurry to the places where I want to plant vegetables later in the spring. I decided gardening isn’t about "making things happe". It’s more like being a church or theater usher.  One ushers the dirt and seeds into helpful places and then ushers the weeds back out to where they can congregate in a dump.

I guess I'm a dirt facilitator and earth usher.

I have five miles on my pedometer this evening. I’m out energy, words, and thoughts. 

What did you facilitate today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I made French bread. First time in more than 40 years. I may make bread more often now.
Mary Beth's picture

Wow! Where were you 40 years ago and why did you make it then and for whom? Making bread isn't nearly as hard as convincing one's self to do it. IMHO.

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Quarantine Diary #312

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let's give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.” ― Bob Ross

This tree lives in Waukesha and stopped me in my tracks when I was out for a walk.

...

 When will this Quarantine Diary end? When Len and I drive out not wearing masks to go to a place where we will stay overnight. Just letting you know. FYI we started last year on Friday the 13th of March.

 …

Quarantine Diary #308 1/15/2021

My life is pretty fine, and I bet yours is, too. Warm place to live. Food to eat. Friends to share and laugh with - even if we have to do it via Zoom.

At the same time, who isn’t feeling anxiety and dread? Will the white supremacist insurrectionist knobs attack the inaugural? Will they screw up state capitols and infrastructure? One lone guy blew up Nashville a mere three weeks ago. What the hell is going on?

Quarantine Diary #307 Brain Names

Remember when there was no autism? Sure, there were kids in our schools who were weirdly able to remember stuff, or were hard to control, or whose emotions triggered at the oddest time. We generally ignored those kids. Those of us who were kind did, anyways. Others bullied. 

Remember the mopey kids in high school who knew too much about depressing art and angsty music and sometimes killed themselves?

Quarantine Diary #306 Hunched Over & Paying Attention

I am going to write some Quarantine Diary entries again. There’s a lot going on and sometimes it helps to hear a small voice as well as the big voices of journalists, pundits, networks, the other public media we follow.

I have had a small headache off and on for days. I worried that I might have contracted Covid, except dang it, I haven’t gone anywhere! And then, thinking about it, I realized I am hunched over my phone much more than usual. These mild on-again, off-again headaches are from eyestrain and weird posture.

Rime and Treason

These photos were taken by Len on Monday in that other time and world that existed before the Trump gorgons mobbed the Capitol. (Gorgons existed in Greek literature. Gorgons are the poisonous siblings with hair of living snakes. Those who beheld them face-to-face turned to stone. Or were killed by being beaten by a fire extinguisher.)

I have been trying to write about that but it is too hard. There is so much that is clear and is informative. You are reading it as much as I am. Blessed be the journalists, right? 

Quarantine Diary #292 New Year's Eve

Many of us feel as if we are in limbo until Biden takes office. I don’t think you need me to say a lot about how long and hard this year has been; we’ve been in this dentist’s chair together.

But...

Did you see how many days quarantine has lasted? 292 days.

So far.

This week I read a remarkable essay. On Natural Landscapes, Metaphorical Living, and Warlpiri Identity, by Barry Lopez. https://lithub.com/. Life is weird. The day after I read it, Mr. Lopez died.

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