During these strange times of lockdown, I think I’m going to start blogging again. (Having a flashback from sitting in my Chapel Hill apartment with Megan, Daniel and Kristina in 2003, firing up a LiveJournal!)
I’m home with the kids most of the time now, planting a vegetable garden, letting them learn from each other, building whatever they want, and reading lots of books. Their happiness and contentedness contrasts sharply with what is usually found on Twitter.
I’m managing my existential fears (for myself and society) by reading The Plague. Wow, the plague is SO MUCH WORSE than what we are experiencing now (the buboes! the high mortality rate!)! But, many of the feelings are the same, and it’s really helping me. Right now, it is a guide for how to deal with the infinite present — how do people deal when planning for the future is impossible? One option is to go into a bit of a dormant state, to expect that emotions are going to be dulled for a while with nothing to look forward to. The other is to find a way to help — there is so much heroism in The Plague (Dr. Rieux, who is a model of “right action” and the necessity of keeping a dispassionate emotional distance, and Tarrou, who cannot stop collecting observations, has no fear of death, and created a team of workers to help.)
Can I help somehow? Keeping my kids safe is so consuming — is it enough? Can I make something? Can I bring someone groceries? Can I collect oral histories of what our neighbors are going through right now?
As far as my habits and activities, I have a knack for doing something right before it is closed up/shut down: getting a few books via Politics and Prose’s curbside pickup, taking the kids for a bike ride at the playground, wandering around the Arboretum. All those options are gone now. We spend hours in the backyard: the kids created a clubhouse, I water and sweep and weed. We play in the alley. We field calls. Matt and I go downstairs when we need to work and think, have the enormous priviledge of having this extra apartment.
Right now, I need to rush upstairs to facilitate Hugo’s call with his teacher. For a few hours a day, I am Hugo’s secretary — I set his agenda, set up calls, bring him his work. He’s a boss of a 6 year old.