Cloister Commentary, Day 76: Run For a Jewel

First long neighborhood walk in awhile. First watering of the landscaping. The roses are poppin’–Japanese beetles, stand down!

Absolutely not kidding–my summer school students responded to their reading assignment with the best analytical discussion I’ve witnessed in a long time, through that dang Zoom. They read three essays that I carefully selected to help them set early goals for their own writing: Roxane Gay’s very recent piece in the NYT, Yuyun Yi’s short, sharp, and vivid “Orange Crush,” and Zoe Shewer’s three drafts of “Ready, Willing, and Able.” They participated pretty broadly and had amazing insights, and I think they’d have appreciated my facial expressions if I’d remembered to “Start Video”!!! All they saw for the first half-hour was an avatar of me standing on the stage of The Blue Note in a Dead Moon shirt, yelling during a Battle of the Bands.

I played with three of our cats for maybe too long (Jeez Louise, I’m 58!). They have found a cruddy piece of cord that is driving them insane–they have no time for official toys–and I have to hang it up on a nail high on a wall after each round unless I want to lose it. I walked into the office and Spirit was sitting there, staring at it as if that would make it drop, so I put her, Junior, and Cleo through their paces. #COVID19activities.

Speaking of COVID-19, my test results came back and I am negative. Nicole is still waiting for hers.

I began Walter Johnson’s The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States. If the whole book is as shattering and mind-boggling as the introduction, it will be one I will never forget. Also, Run The Jewels literally said “F***k it” and dropped what could well be the album of the year early, for free–but with suggested funds linked to which fans can donate and support the protesters and the fight for justice. I would have linked the full album today, but a usable one doesn’t yet exist. You’ll have to settle for Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane.

Streaming for Shut-Ins:

 

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