I hope you are healthy, doing well, and able to adapt in some manner to our current day-to-day.
It’s interesting to me that while we are all going through the same thing, this COVID-19 pandemic, each of us is experiencing it in different ways. Our physical health, our mental health, the well-being of our family, our finances, the lack of social interaction, how we feel about uncertainty — each of these contributes to our unique, personal experience.
So how are you dealing with your experience of COVID-19?
I will tell you that I have one friend who is cooking and gardening daily. Another has been purging and decluttering since March. One has filled every moment of every day with physical activities — yard work, house repairs, minor construction projects. And another is simply comatose.
I’m somewhere in between all of that — a hodge-podge of creative projects, housecleaning, attempts at self-care, mask-covered errands, and deep, deep, dream-fill sleep.
“My grandmother once gave me a tip: In difficult times, you move forward in small steps. Do what you have to do, but little by little. Don’t think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow. Wash the dishes. Remove the dust. Write a letter. Make a soup. You see? You are advancing step by step. Take a step and stop. Rest a little. Praise yourself. Take another step. Then another. You won’t notice, but your steps will grow more and more. And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.” – Elena Mikhalkova, Midwives of the Soul
hodge-podge /ˈhäjˌpäj/ noun 1. a muddled-together bunch of stuff; 2. a dialectical concept in Discordianism that posits that the tendency for restriction and control in society is matched proportionately by a counter-resulting tendency for chaos and randomness, and vice-versa.
Hodge-podge, also: an unorganized group of items. Like this newsletter…in which I thought I’d just pull together some odds and ends for you to consider…
Emily Got Baked
In celebration of National Poetry Month and NaPoWriMo I wrote a poem a day. You can read all 30 of them here, then join me as I cap off the celebration by baking Emily Dickinson’s Coconut Quick Break. (recipe)
Barefoot in the Kitchen
This extended pause in our regularly scheduled programming has found me more and more in the kitchen. Emily’s cake is the most recent creation. But I also tried my hand at some of these recipes you might want to check out yourself!
• Mango Cocktails
• Coconut Cake
• Balsamic Roast Beef
• Coffee Cake
• Parker’s Beef Stew
Red meat, alcohol, and cake – a holy trinity.
Ina Garten is my go-to food guru, as you can tell from the number of her recipes above, but I confess…I have more recently been inspired by Mr. Stanley Tucci. As you may recall — see “Waiting for Stanley Tucci” — I’m a big fan.
Apparently, so is the whole rest of the world now, after this yummy video of Mr. Tucci’s evening cocktail hour.
Combine equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass; stir gently and garnish with an orange twist.
Speaking of vicarious…This month, on Random Act of Writing, we’re taking a little Road Trip. Want to get out of the house and take a trip vicariously? ROAD TRIP: BIG BEND starts up on Monday!
We are seven weeks into this pause, with at least three more weeks to go before things slowly begin to open back up.
These are difficult times, certainly. But if you’re able to — savor them and remember them. Remember the time spent doing things you enjoy, that extra time with your loved ones, the pleasure of making a meal or taking a nap, the inner strength you found to deal with your circumstances.
Because before you know it, that big machine is going to start churning again, and we might be seduced back to the way things were before…maybe.
Or maybe we’ll start to make some changes…
“In the bad, we find the good,” writes British performance artist and poet Tom Foolery, who created a thoughtful video called The Great Realisation.
I’ll leave you with that to think on as we step bravely into the next month and into our next chapter.
Take good care and be well…
If you’re looking for something new to read, my books (now available in print and as ebooks) can be purchased from my ETSY SHOP. Bonus: they come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.