Sunday, February 14, 2021

Rough Week

I had a rough week of not being able to do or say anything right 1) in Zoom meetings 2) in general. People sometimes disappear in Zoom if someone is screen sharing, and it's getting harder and harder for me to connect, engage in true communication, and feel like myself. Also, it's so very cold outside, and I'd rather sit on the couch reading books, wrapped up in a soft blue fleece blanket, than do anything else. 

Today I gave in to the couch, and that produced 4 poem drafts, a healing calm, and restored my sense of who I really am. Sigh... It helped this past week to call up some friends up spontaneously on the phone. Thank you, friends! It's been almost a year of isolation, and maybe I hadn't felt it as intensely till now. I know I've had it easier than many, as a shy person and an introvert and someone with a safe, masked, part-time job. Feeling for all the rest of you, you can be sure.

This week I read things with blue dustjackets and/or circular patterns in them. One was a play--3 women trading conversations à la ronde. One was The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, where one must choose among one's parallel lives in the multiverse. One was Faithful, by Alice Hoffman, in which a woman punishes herself, needing to heal and be forgiven. I was feeling like that. It helped to write some little poems, to send some poems out, to have a few taken.

One was The Beginning of Spring, by Penelope Fitzgerald, a writer I like because of her writing and because she was a late bloomer, and a title I like, because of the hope in it. Sigh... The cover of the paperback, though, had snow. It takes place in Russia, like all the Russian stories in A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, by George Saunders, which I had just finished. The Beginning of Spring had a circular structure. I did indeed read all these books at exactly the right time. And now I am reading the Collected Stories of Shirley Hazzard, who calms with the clarity of her style, her subtle humor, her precise observations. Its dust-jacket of coral and gray calms me, as does her sense of nonlinear time: "she couldn't be sure that she was not recollecting something in the future." This has happened to me.


Ren Powell said...

Thank you for this, Kathleen. It helps me feel saner to know that these feelings and frustrations and the "difficultness" are not unique to me. I've been wrapping myself with work. oh but baby it is cold outside! A warm blanket and cup of tea and a book- a good reminder.

Bethany Reid said...

The Beginning of Spring is one of my favorite all time books. I have also read Hoffman's Faithful, twice, and bought a copy of it for my daughter. Always love your suggestions -- but it gives me a rush of pleasure to think of us sitting in a kitchen talking about our books in common over coffee.