Category Archives: pandemic

Imaginary Things

A close-up of a bright pink rhododendron in full bloom with a bee nestled in deep to collect pollen.

There is pollen swirling in the street like a flocks of swifts. It’s caking the bottom of our shoes with its yellow chalk. It’s smearing my brain like muddy hands on glass. It’s trying to slow me down, change my pace, make me old.

I’m not good at taking nature’s lead.

I want to be out in the world. I want to prune my garden with the swift strokes of a thousand shears. I want to drive up the Gorge and put my cheek on the necks of the horses I love. I want to see my friends and hug them so tight they lose their breath, but not quite so tight I crack their ribs. I have to say that last part out loud to remind myself of the line of restraint when the time comes.

Do you ever in your pandemic-brain rabbit holes think about the fact that the screenplays for our next ten years’ worth of movies are being lived right now? Wretched heartbreaks, death, solitude, some sort of mash up super-casting of marshmallow storylines. Will they tell the stories of how racism and sexism built a castle out of inequality that crushed some and let others make sourdough bread?

I feel like I’ve been sucked into a pool of glitter. The glitter is up my nose and in my hair. The silver linings aren’t the bright edges of puffy clouds, but a thousand reflections of sunlight on cut and colored metal. I can’t take my eyes off the dancing light, it’s breathtaking, and at the same time I’m desperately picking it out of my toes and washing it out of every crack but it stays and stays.