Letter from the Vineyard 09 May 2020

 

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Outside, wind blows, blustering, perhaps a result of the winter vortex sweeping through the east, bringing May snow to some; if not snow, rain and wind, which I suspect will be the Vineyard’s fate.

Driving the wooded lanes of the island, it seemed to me the trees are having a hard time blooming; the landscape seems devoid of buds of spring green you’d think May would see.  All still skeletal fingers, clawing toward the grey, somber sky, pleading for relief from a silent universe.

The days of April and early May have been mostly drear, dank, wet and worn. One day a week blazes with beauty that doesn’t stay.  One so drear, I had to force myself not to return to bed, pull the covers over my head.

This week I accomplished something that had not been on my radar six months ago, “the Vineyard shuffle,” moving from a winter rental to my summer place, committed to before I knew I was not leaving the Vineyard, becoming an unwitting “wash ashore.”  When I discovered I was not departing at the end of October, I scrambled for winter housing, securing a pleasant venue through the lucky help of local author, Paul Dolman, whose “Hitchhiking with Larry David,” is a perennial summer favorite.

Now I am back in the little cottage, happily inhabited last summer, almost settled in, looking out the bay window at a riot of foliage struggling to come to spring life.

When I first walked through the door last summer, I realized I had walked into a happy place;  softly bleached wood, a comfy chair in which to read, set back from Katama, a close ride to the bookstore on my little electric bike, fondly named, “Rodolfo,” as it seemed European in spirit, Italian in particular.

Now we live in the age of Zoom, as in the winter house, I have established a place, still being refined, for Zoom meetings, of which there have been many, of which there will be many more to come as no one is moving towards being in person anytime soon.

During this age, I have helped author “COVID – The Biggest Disruption of Our Lives,” with the team at the Center for the Digital Future, where I am a Senior Fellow.

It’s been presented to AARP; Jeff Cole, Founder and Executive Director, and I will present to A&E Networks sometime in the near future.  You can see the summary at www.digitalcenter.org.

Doing the work has given me, along with the bookstore, a sense of being anchored, not adrift on a sea of uselessness, preventing me from entering the new competitive sport: baking at home, if one can find yeast and flour, not an easy task.

This morning, I feel breezy, light-hearted, ready to meet the world as it presents itself.  I ventured to the store, having an appointment with a very nice man, to prepare a book for him for his daughter to give her mother for Mother’s Day.  The book he wanted is somewhere in the distribution chain; has not arrived at the bookstore.  We found another, in stock, suitable for giving.  Thank you, Mr. Kelly, for your sublime patience in all this.

We are all needing patience, fortitude and fearlessness as we face this incredible time of disease, joblessness, uncertainty, anxiety [61% of Americans are more anxious], unsure of our leadership, more secure in our governors than our president, with Fauci trusted beyond all.

We are in uncharted territory, must make our through it, which we will do, as that is what we humans do, make our way through – it’s the heroic nature of the human being, to make it through, to struggle, suffer, to keep on going when it seems we should surrender all hope, a spirit which amazes me, has all my life, will until I have no more life, that we have marched through events like world wars, the Great Depression, and are still here, marching on.

It is Mother’s Day this weekend.  Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, and to all the families celebrating the day, through whatever circumstances this day gives us.

 

 

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