As general editor of Village Voices, I have decided to call a one-week moratorium of our blog posts and decide meanwhile whether to continue this daily feature. If anyone in the audience wants to contribute their two cents’ worth to that discussion, please email me at email@example.com.
One of my tech people’s in the middle of Iowa, where the power’s been provided by generators for a couple of weeks now. Another’s in Austin. A third radio-tech dude’s in Wisconsin. Our server is outside Phoenix.
I don’t require a break from the daily writing interval itself. Flexing sentences each day keeps them plastic. Feeling out the form of a thought, or half of one, every day alerts you to your own habits and clichés, the most worn pathways of expression and ones you still might blaze. I do see growth as a result of the discipline, but growth in things like writing is never a steady plot. Like golf, lose confidence in your swing as a writer and you can go from a run of bests to a rut of worsts and have no idea what even happened.
My son’s childhood was a long span of baseball games in the summer and basketball in the winter. He loved sports, and he was a good athlete. He played as soon as he was old enough to join a team. Always two or three heads taller than his classmates, he became a lanky, imposing presence on the pitcher’s mound, at shortstop, or playing center or forward on the basketball court.
In Connecticut, there aren’t a lot of signs, but everyone was wearing a mask. It I didn’t see anyone who slipped the mask beneath their nose. They covered their mouths and noses, and no one seemed to be too put out about it.
The weaving of stories to influence voters is more active than ever, efforts to cast a candidate as “beholden” to some entity beyond the citizenry. Even as our technology has made quantum leaps since 1960, we see more storytellers than ever – nefarious and otherwise – depending on the human need for a compelling narrative to latch onto, to accept as gospel truth in a chaotic time, undisputed fact rising above the din.
I was listening to 13-year-old Brayden Harrington speak about Joe Biden on the final night of the Democratic National Convention.
In everything I do I am improviser per force and not by choice. Plans and designs do not take well in my neurological soil. There is a layer of static between conception and execution that has always been there. The blood that carries thought to action doesn’t make it to the tips of my mental fingers with all its properties intact. There’s a leak in the line.
Seeing these lonely hitchers is like driving by the closed sign on the Upstate Films marquee, or inadvertently standing a little too close to someone and having them freak out and move away as if you’re radioactive, even though you are masked. If you’ve slipped into a benumbed state of temporary pandemic forgetfulness, these now-quotidian occurrences can zap you right back into despair.
We have friends in Cold Spring who have started shopping at the WalMart 15 miles away because they’ll put ordered groceries in their trunk. The wife hasn’t left their property since there was snow outside. Woodstock acquaintances are scoffing at Kingston acquaintances going out to socially distanced events, saying they don’t understand the dangers.