The weather out there is frightening. Way out there, I mean, far away: here we’re having a mild cold snap of 65 degree-highs, which will end next week when we hit 80. I spend half an hour every morning crouched over seedlings in the garden, willing them to grow at incredible rates of speed, inspecting my poppies for signs that they will shortly bud, and then perhaps bloom. There is significant cognitive dissonance to seeing reports out of Texas and the Pacific Northwest; Texas in particular seems to have stored up about five years worth of winter to use all at once.
It’s scary, and I hope you are all staying safe.
Meanwhile, my brain does continuous rain math, which isn’t hard because we’re back to being dry as a bone, though it does sometimes seem that there is a cosmic wizard cooking the numbers. Yesterday, for example, the weather report suggested a thirty percent chance of showers, but when I looked at the hourly forecast, that whole thirty percent appeared to be distributed throughout the day, so that no hour had a higher likeliness of rain than three percent.
I have to remind myself to enjoy the nice weather, instead of seeing it as a harbinger of the summer to come. But this is difficult.
The world is still messy and broken; in our quest for satisfactory television, Dave and I have finally started watching The Mandalorian, and I now understand even more fully why everyone was obsessed with the baby Yoda. The baby is the most dynamic character on the screen by far; it is a pleasure and a delight to watch it raise its pacific hand and close its eyes to summon the Force; I can’t help but wonder how long the Mandalorian will persist in his belief that the baby is safe when locked in a cabinet it can easily open. The baby is a cross between a frog and an elephant, and maybe a bat, and I like watching it blink and smile.
Like many people, I’m worried I will no longer be able to hold a conversation once the quarantine is over. I find myself drifting off in the middle of video messages to friends, watching a bird and then snapping back into the moment. This worry having been triggered, just now, by my own ecstatic litany about a baby puppet on TV, and my seeming belief that I needed to share it. Real people feel very far away. There are actual problems taking place; people’s trees are splitting in half under the weight of pure ice. But I cannot reach them. Is television, are books, a proxy, or are they moving us farther and farther into the universes of our own minds?
Only time will tell. Time, which I will spend, for a while, looking at sprouts lifting up from the soil, and whispering to them, please hurry, please open, please come and be here with me.