Hey remember these?
Last month, Kottke announced he was taking a sabbatical, which seemed like a great idea (and is increasingly seeming like a great idea for all of us, too, oof). I had a fleeting impulse at the time to pick up the mantle myself, and blog here more regularly, as I love his blog and knew I’d miss it — maybe I could fill in the gap in some small way. Well, I didn’t do it, or at least haven’t done it yet.
I still go back and forth in my mind, wondering: do we need more of the internet or less of it? Does the world need more of my voice, or less of it? When it comes to the internet I am increasingly erring on the side of shutting the fuck up, especially when it comes to “the discourse.”
But then sometimes I think the internet, the web, is a cure for what ails me. And I have heard that some of you wonderful readers enjoy what I post about here (thank you!)
The last few months have had pretty lovely weather in Brooklyn. Lots of warm but not sweltering days, lots of sunshine and late sunsets, afternoons brimming with light. In my back yard I’ve had singing robins, a pair or two of cardinals, a smattering of mourning doves (although they seemed to sun on my fire escape more frequently and numerously in the winter), and lots of house sparrows. The trees seem lusher this year, the flowers more vibrant and aromatic. This has probably been happening the whole time I’ve lived here, but I’ve scarcely paid attention to any of it. Look for the details, friends, and you’ll see them, you’ll smell them.
Why am I talking about the weather? Why does anyone talk about it? This so called small talk? I think we do it because it’s the last vestige of a time when we paid attention and felt connected to the land, to the environment. Maybe I can’t relate much to someone I don’t know very well, but we breathe the same air, we feel the same wind. It reminds us of the literal common ground we walk.
(also crazy to me the computer system known as smalltalk doesn’t have built-in weather features!)
(a reminder that the “19” is referring to 2019, when the virus emerged, and here we are in 2022, ow.)
Well ok as fun as it is to pretend that the pandemic is over, it’s very much not????? I have had three doses of the vaccine and I’m so grateful for it. I’m so glad the vaccine has worked as well as it has, and I feel like my risk of serious illness is much lower because of them.
Then there’s “Long Covid” which by all accounts seems to afflict 20-33% of people who get Covid. 1/5th or 1/3rd, that’s incredibly high! What worries me is Long Covid seems to be a form of disability, maybe long term or permanent, and the world does not treat disabled people very well at all (it should! but it doesn’t). That’s what worries me about catching Covid, it’s not that I think it’s going to kill me, but that it’s going to leave me disabled in some way.
I just turned 34, and I feel like only in the past couple of years have I really gotten the hang of my body, only recently have I felt like I’m in tune with it! and I’m not ready to have some of that taken away from me if I can avoid that.
But Covid makes me feel like a crazy person sometimes for not wanting to do a lot of indoor things in public places. I don’t mind going somewhere indoors in public, but I’m gonna remain masked. But I definitely feel like “the weird one” doing so. I am, however, so grateful for all my friends and loved ones who understand where I’m coming from, who make me feel not crazy about it, who hear me out, because it makes a big difference in my life. What a weird time to be alive.
What’s the way out of this? I think I’d like to write a longer post about this, but I think it’s going to be a long haul. Ultimately, Covid is a public health crisis, and I think we’ll need some major shifts to fix that. I think we have most of the tools we need already, it’s just a matter of using them.
I’ve been making a new app in my spare time lately that I’m not quite ready to show off yet, but hope to do so some time this summer. It’s mostly a playground for some programming environment stuff, not really sure what’s going to come of it, but it’s getting interesting. Most importantly, it’s been fun to noodle on in my spare time.
My routine since the wintertime has been to wake up around 6:30, put on some tea and some music, and draw for an hour or so before the world wakes up. Getting up with the birds and the sun, ahhh what a way to start a day. My drawing skills are mostly those of someone who stopped drawing at age 15, but I’m feeling happier with my drawings with every passing day. I’d like to take a class or two to improve my skills, but Covid is keeping me back for now.
I cannot recommend this sort of thing highly enough, even if you don’t like what you draw. It puts me in such a good mood pretty much without fail, regardless of what the drawing looks like. The verb, drawing is more important than the noun drawing.