Journaling Corvid-19 April 13

DSCN9950Life is embarrassingly full despite today’s grey, overcast, monochromatic sky that shrouds the mountains in mist. Life is most definitely not monochromatic. That said, the forsythia pictured to the right is artificial. A girl does what she has to do.

As a person who vowed to journal daily watching the coronavirus unfold from afar, I have failed miserably. You would think that with all this time on my hands, I’d be writing non-stop. But those who know me well, are not surprised. I only perform in a timely manner when an editor has a deadline in one hand and a gun in the other.

I’ve been busy raking leaves. First things first, I always say. We had a few warm days, and I couldn’t help myself. My life was in the hands of the gods of Spring.

And I’ve been reading, and walking the dog, and making scones.

book collection - Ruth



And watching Idris Elba play the murder detective Luther in the BBC series on Amazon. This is the second time I’ve watched LUTHER. You may wonder why I’d watch anything twice when we’re spoiled for choice. My only defense is that the first time you watch a show, you are primarily following the plot. Who does what to whom; is the good guy as good as he seems; and does the good guy win? The reason I enjoy watching a good show twice is that the second time I can appreciate the writing, the character development, the sets, the camera angles, the score, and more – so much more that I can’t take it all in on just one viewing.

So I’ve been busy. Following the news, but selectively following the news and taking the news in small doses to avoid toxicity. I don’t want to get sick.

Dutch street art - Jan Is De Man and Deef Feed

Dutch street art: Jan Is De Man & Deef Feed

Much has changed with this slower pace. Yesterday I picked up Kazuo Ishinguro’s Nobel Prize Winner, AN ARTIST OF THE FLOATING WORLD. I may not have chosen the book myself, but my book group chose it. I started reading the novel before the pandemic, and it was a slog. For the life of me, I couldn’t keep the characters straight. All those unfamiliar Japanese names: Oji, Ichiro, Sensei, Shintaro, Murasaki, Tanaka… So I made a cheat sheet. This person is the eldest daughter; this the younger daughter… But the complexity confounded me. (If only the characters had Western names: Bob, Chuck, Mary…)


My volunteer springing up between the house and the pavers in the north airlock, continues to grow despite its inhospitable setting. A lesson in tenacity which has captured my heart. Should I water it?

But yesterday, well into the pandemic and having run out of library books, I tried reading AN ARTIST again. And I was so surprised! The names gave me no difficulty at all! Why? Because I wasn’t skimming or speed-reading. Rather, I was savoring… tasting, rolling the words and phrases around in my mouth/mind.  Thinking about the characters and the setting.

Referencing Mrs. Kawakami, a local bar owner, Ishinguro wrote, “Before the war, she may still have passed for a ‘young woman,’ but since then something inside her seems to have broken and sagged.” This, of course, refers specifically to Mrs. Kawakami, but I certainly identified with the essence of the sentence.

This last Christmas, one of our daughters gave us a couple of DVDs on which she had copied old home movies. When I opened her present, I was absolutely delighted. I remember saying, “These I will treasure and keep in the safety deposit box!”

But before I did that, I watched the DVDs. Given that many movies were easily 30 years old, I was not surprised that I looked younger. But I was shocked at how merry and vibrant I used to be. Older is OK, but it is not OK that like Mrs. Kawakami, ‘something inside seems to have broken and sagged.’

I’m lovin’ this book, and it is all about having the time to savor and reflect. Lucky me.

If I slow down and spend more time in-the-moment, maybe I’ll mend.



About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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9 Responses to Journaling Corvid-19 April 13

  1. Kate Bell says:

    Kate Bell

  2. Kate Bell says:

    Doris i love your blog—- your straight forward and no bull… Wow!!! and photos and scenes – great
    thank for clear inspiration….. who needs daily journaling anyway – we all need your honest and creative flare ~ Kate

    • timeout2 says:

      Goodness, Kate! Thank you. Sometimes I start a ramble… destination unknown… I’m always surprised that although the path twists and turns, more often or not I end up somewhere… a miracle of sorts.

  3. Caroline A Vornberg says:

    Doris – another delight! I enjoyed the illustration of the bookshelf—laughed at the “books I didn’t understand but keep hoping one day I’ll be smarter” and the” ones I’d be embarrassed to read in public”. I got a steamy novel and put in on my phone….read it for a little while, and it was so badly written I couldn’t even make it to the steamy part. $$ wasted. Now I think I will start on the book “Inside”, written by a woman who did the Inside Passage in 66 days. We met her on a CRUISE to Alaska – much more comfortable than her adventure, to be sure. I used to be way more adventurous, but now I like my comforts too much. I do feel blessed to be not worried about food, home, and job. What a slug I am – unless gardening and canoeing and leisurely walks “even it out a bit.” Glad you are writing – whenever you do!!! SCONES! WOW!!

    • timeout2 says:

      Dear Caroline, Yes, the Inside Passage. We did it on a working boat that served the water-side communities without service or roads from the interior. Maybe a dozen passengers. (Like a lot of things… I’ve forgotten.) Neither can I tell you when we took the boat our of Campbell River. BUT I blogged it. Type Marine Link Tours or Vancouver or Inside Passage into the search box to the right of my blog, and something should pop up. Yes, retired, secure, and ‘blessed.’ Can’t wait to get my hands in the soil and like you, do a bit of gardening.

  4. H Brent Bruser says:

    Excellent as always D. Thank you

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Bar Scott says:

    Excellent blog!! Thank you.


    • timeout2 says:

      Likewise, lovely music made by your coming our way from Corvallis. I am touched by so much creativity blooming like spring on steroids despite the pandemic. Why? Is it that we recognize that life is short, and if we don’t express ourselves now, tomorrow may not come?

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