Check out new work "Biking Through a Pandemic" at Quaranzine (vever mind the subheading which states I cycled coast-to-coast. The UK doesn't realize 2,400 miles still is only half way across the United States. When Covid threw my life off-kilter and I lost my job(s) and all sense of routine I hit the road--"I knew my job: it was to pedal, to get somewhere. For 2,464 miles."
Friday, May 14, 2021
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
Monday, May 10, 2021
*Another Jack Post
Almost every day there is a *new thing. Now to be clear his attempts at movement are not a big deal or technically new in the sense of “no one has ever done this before.”
Basically he is trying to roll over.
But, and here’s the kicker, every day now there is something *new. For instance, last night when my daughter and son-in-law came over for dinner (nevertheless, Jack was on the menu) Dad said, This is his new thing. Jack was on his tummy and when Dad placed his hand on his little diaper butt, Jack would stiffen into like a pizza tray or an airplane attempting lift off, leaving only his belly on the blanket.
And this, Grace says is his *new thing: he stiffens every time she tries to put him in his car seat, making it ten times more difficult to maneuver his little 13-pound body into position. For now it’s cute and *new. After a week of this it gets old, and frustrating.
Yet, seen through this charmed and loving parental lens everything he does is glorious, genius, and NEW.
What a wonder it is having a new baby.
Thursday, May 6, 2021
Last year around this time after 6 weeks of intense lockdown I was wading through that swamp. Aimless. Lost. Without hope.
It was then I decided I would take off on my bike and ride to the Pacific coast in Oregon. People say: You’re so brave! So athletic! Little do they realize: I was so desperate. For something, out there, beyond my reach. I wanted to snatch back the year I couldn’t have and regain a sense of control, a bit of well-being. I needed to feel like me.
More from the article:
So what can we do about it? A concept called “flow” may be an antidote to languishing. Flow is that elusive state of absorption in a meaningful challenge or a momentary bond, where your sense of time, place and self melts away. During the early days of the pandemic, the best predictor of well-being wasn’t optimism or mindfulness — it was flow. People who became more immersed in their projects managed to avoid languishing and maintained their prepandemic happiness.
As drastic as it sounds: I needed a challenge, something sharp to poke myself awake and prove to myself I was still alive, like the child who holds his finger above the flame of the candle. It hurt, but the realness of it all made me happy. And exhausted. I was able to throw off the Slough of Despond, the Blanket of Despair, the . . . you get it, extinguish the languish.
I can’t tell you what I thought about all those hours in the saddle as I turned the pedal over and over as I climbed uphill or into the wind; I was too busy being absorbed into a mental and esoteric flow, where I was displaced from my condition by another state of mind.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021
My baby has a red cheek
from where it rests
against the breast
His cheek is red
when he wakes up
from how he lays his head
Jack’s rosy cheek
is warm and dew-drop soft
as I nestle my cheek next to his
Baby’s one red cheek
melts my heart
bursting into tongues
Friday, April 30, 2021
The Waterfalls of Oregon
from all the rain
over moss-soft stones
giant cedar logs
Then there is this:
waterfalls of spring
petals from the trees
white, red, fuchsia pink
scattered all around
shaken by the wind
in pools on the street
riding my bike home
in the chain-oil rain
when suddenly a rainbow
a spray of pink
a waterfall of petalsa shower of color
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Anatomy of a Good/Bad Day
The outline begins with line A
Wake up, tea, stretch, a little music
--pull the bike out and begin to ride
--in the cold morning air, uphill
Arrive, line B
Begin watching my grandson
--who smiles, tries to roll over
--achieves, tummy to back
--we both look up at the ceiling
Lunch, line C
He gets a bottle, I heat up pizza
Line D repeats line B
--add walks, story time
--Dad comes home from hospital, showers
Dinner, line E
At my house!
--rush home, stir fry chicken
--add cashew crème and curry
--someone says let’s go get a designer dounut
Walk downtown with baby in front carrier
--strangers smile at us, a family on an evening stroll
--purchase crazy-named donuts sprinkled with Cap’tain Crunch,Oreos
Etc, etc, etc!!
Later, line G
Ride bike to Washington Park for birthday/bike polo gathering
--talk and tell stories until the arc lamps extinguish themselves
--left in darkness kicking cans
--ride home on silent streets
A video on my phone of police in Chicago shooting a 13-year old
--boy staring into bright lights
*Schematic can be replayed in any order to get the same results