“Twas Just This Time- Last Year, I Died”

Of course not literally, but with all the angst I had as a teenager, I spent the majority of my waking hours wondering how we were going to survive the lockdown, quarantine, toilet paper shortage, and general malaise that the Covid-19 virus brought to our lives.

Once again, I was wrong. My husband deserves all the credit for carrying the weight of everything for the first few months until I rose from my funk and started to fully function again. And here we are, over a year later. Many of us are vaccinated and we’re all eager to travel and visit family and hug everyone! There’s so much we’ve all missed. And oh so many who will forever be missing loved ones who died from complications of Covid-19.

The vaccinations have brought us light and hope. Next week, I’m going to get to visit my daughter and grandson for the first time in over 13 months. Believe me, I’m going to hug them for a very long time. We’re so close to managing this. But we’re not there yet. Let’s all be smart. Wear our masks. Get vaccinated. Stay safe.

“One Year Ago- Jots What?”

In the mid 1800’s, there was a deadly civil war and multiple waves of Cholera and Scarlet Fever in the United States, but not any pandemics as great as the one we are dealing with now.

If you’ve been following me, you’ve heard me mention before that many of Emily’s poems have themes of loss and death. At the beginning of the current pandemic I couldn’t even write, couldn’t “jot” one word. I was literally frozen with fear and an overwhelming sense of loss and despair. We took the situation very seriously and really did stay home unless it was absolutely necessary to go out. For three months, my husband tried to make me laugh as he watched me sit and wallow in sadness. That’s when I picked up Emily Dickinson again. As Professor Elizabeth Sagaser of Colby College says in her essay on DIckinson: “As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, Dickinson’s poems of loss and longing can be good company.” For me, that was true and I slowly started pulling myself out of my funk.

I also had to start packing for our move, so out of necessity, was forced to get my act together.

Americans, and the world, watched the Covid-19 case numbers and deaths tick higher and higher each day. We mourned the lost lives of so many friends and loved ones and watched helplessly as the virus took its toll on everyone, young and old. We also witnessed many incredible acts of kindness and gained fresh perspectives and new appreciation for everything we’d taken for granted. Yes, we all needed toilet paper and disinfectants, but most of all, we found we needed our loved ones.

And Science. We needed Science, because you can’t just make up stuff or ignore it and end a pandemic.

And Science is coming through for us now. I just received my second and final Covid-19 Vaccine today, so I feel a renewed sense of hope. I’ve talked to others who feel the same. It’s not over yet, but we can finally see a light at the end of the long dark tunnel we’ve been hunkered down in.

Today’s Carol and Emily poem is about this past year and where we are today, thanks to Love and Science.


Dickinson in Pandemic Days – Colby MagazineColby Magazine · Colby College

Making The Best of A Pandemic Fat Tuesday

I love the fact that folks in NOLA are decorating their porches and yards. Seeing them, even from far away through the magic of satellites and video imagery puts a little joy in my heart. No parades this year, but we can still mask up and go get the King Cake, dig out our beads and the red Solo cups and pretend we are just as happy being wherever we are. Personally I’d be happier if this pandemic was over and I could safely travel to hug my kids and grandkids. That in itself would be worthy of a parade!

As it is, I’m extremely happy and grateful that it’s 68 degrees here and that I have power, unlike so many millions across the country today. I’m currently in my home office, listening to my ocean sound machine and just completed 5 more poems for the project.

Speaking of my home office, I had to devise a new system for letting my husband know I’m in the creative zone and shouldn’t be disturbed. Yesterday I got a little finger-tapping- impatient with him when he burst in and started “sharing” something with me while I was trying to write. I did have the door closed, but that was also because we had a service person here about our AC and I wanted to isolate myself.

The good news is that this pandemic has given us lots and lots of together time. The bad news is that this pandemic has given us lots and lots of together time… So, there I sat at my computer desk, listening to him share the details of a frustrating phone call and a few minutes in I started tapping my fingers as if impatient. I swore I didn’t mean to. It just happened, and well, you can imagine the rest. So now I have a new system. If my office door is closed AND has a scrunchie on it, (hearkening back to college days) that means Please Do Not Disturb.

I hope you can think of something to celebrate today. Maybe just that it’s Tuesday and one day closer to the weekend, maybe your kid completed their virtual school session without tears, or maybe you got a vaccine appointment for you or someone you love. Maybe you just kept it together on this 340th day since the US Covid crisis began. Tell Alexa to turn up the tunes and have a little conga line parade in your house.

Here’s today’s Carol and Emily offering.