My monthly poetry group is meeting via ZOOM this week and that’s how some of my friends want to communicate. It’s better than nothing but doesn’t have the same intimacy or ability to operate in a group with real back and forth. I miss face to face meetings, I miss them enormously whether it’s my poetry group or planning for the June intensive poetry workshop or just chatting with friends. I also am no good at meditating when I’m not alone in the house. I miss that too. We’re all missing a lot of things, including income. No money coming in. People keep asking for freebie readings on ZOOM, but I haven’t done any. If I have to hold my workshop on Zoom, the amount of work it will take is staggering.
I receive at least 220 emails a day, maybe more, from Democratic candidates, worthy charities and organizations and of course ads for sale as if I have money to spend. Friends. Aquaintances and people who just want to contact me. I buy as little as possible. Toilet paper [when it can be found] milk, eggs, meat, avocados yes; a new dress or pants or leggings, some new trendy gadget, no. Our credit card bills have diminished a lot but we still use them for groceries, pharmacies, fish etc. Shellfish, cash. I have been wiping down every bloody thing that comes into the house, but just read on CNN this morning, that this is not necessary. It takes about an hour once a week, so if I’m free from that chore, a relief. Since the library is closed, I have to buy an occasional book on line. I read, reread books on my shelves. I seem to vastly prefer reading to TV. Music, some.
I expected to get a great deal done during isolation. Now that feels like a bad joke. I am getting far less done than in what used to be normal times. I get so many emails a day, it takes up much of my morning. I had this fantasy that I would finally learn to use the sewing machine I bought cheap on a Cyber Monday. We’ve never even opened the box. Since I’ve shrunk with age, many of my dresses and skirts are way too long on me. Seamstresses around here are just too expensive for us to use them more than a couple times a year.
I have been gardening whenever the weather lets me. That and when I’m writing are the best times. Yesterday was sunny and mild. I planted more lettuce, more arugula, radishes, mustard, calla lilies [in the little greenhouse], I have been writing poems. Actually I wrote a very angry piece in between the 3rd and 4th paragraphs called “Culling the herd.” May send it to the Monthly Review. I am so glad they publish a number of my political poems.
It started to rain during the night and is still at it in mid-afternoon. I turned off the babbling brook I sleep with on my cell and just let the rain lull me – a good necessary gentle rain, not a storm. Welcome after all the planting. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I worry, I am anxious, I miss real time with friends. I taped the first round of the draft and then looked at it during morning coffee. It took me all of 15 minutes to zip through the whole three hours. A great way to see it – no bullshit, no hype. I am losing weight because I don’t have much appetite. Ah, a great new way for someone to push on those who want to lose weight, 95% of women for instance. Just enter a pandemic where people you know are dying and far more are sick and you keep thinking you have it. It sounds as good as the one I patented decades ago, The Weight Loss Through Total Relationship Loss Diet. Boo hoo.