Cloister Commentary, Day 230: What I’m Doing

Review: I’ve been writing these daily since March 17, hoping to just document how we’ve lived during an actual pandemic (222 new cases of COVID-19, for example, just yesterday in our town). My friend Ken inspired the project and, when I mildly balked and fretted, advised me just to write what happens. That I have done, plus each day exploited YouTube and my vast but ever-hazier music memory to offer a worthwhile full-album stream. Anxiety, joy, discipline, food and drink, art and pop culture, politics (everything’s political), exaltation and mourning–that and more have entered our days (frequently, like Kramer). The pre-pandemic days seem three years ago; the first pandemic day seems like yesterday. The elasticity of time! I hope our innards prove just as elastic. Anyway, I felt it was time, at least for my own purposes, to look back. I hope these thumbings have occasionally proved useful to a few readers.

About yesterday. Finished the audiobook of Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild and Other Stories with the scintillating “The Book of Martha,” in which God asks the title protagonist to make a single positive change to save humanity from itself and jolt it out of its adolescence. Not so easy. Due to the positive influence and generosity of our friends Stephen Fischer and Beth Hartman, we also watched Disney/Pixar’s Coco. I have to purt-near be wrassled into sitting still for animated films, but I must admit the visuals were stunning, while the story moistened my eyes and caused me to cogitate.

Oh yes: and, like you, we continued, patiently, to wait.

Streaming for Strivers:

A forgotten classic of ’80s madness and insight, remixed for better punch. May the cosmos smile on Peter Stampfel!