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Archive for April 2020

Chronicles of Covid, Episode 42

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20200424_140918Chronicles of Covid, Episode. 42

Day 135, feels like 2030

Blue today, blue Friday. Grey morning riding on the heels of nightmares. Most of my dreams involve dead friends. Are they trying to tell me something? I’m wondering if it has something to do with forgiveness…forgive myself for not having lived enough in the world on offer for so long, now that the offerings are so different, so internal. Even dreaming about old ex-friends who are still alive and with Whom, if I were a forgiving type, I would call and say “what was that fight about anyway?”

I had a thrill yesterday. Being poetry month, the radio was giving prompts for a poem. I dashed one off to the tune of “after this is over, what is the first thing you would want to hear?” A producer emailed me that she liked mine so with Shakespeare on my shoulder, I imagined the red carpet of my radio poetry debut and all the joys that would follow. What if they read it aloud? It was really meant for my therapist.

I didn’t hear the live radio as I must have been foraging for balsamic vinegar… but email said I had made the LIST. Alas, too late to start a poetry career  and besides, I had tried it once with the Unbearables, a rough and tumble group of lovable refugees from the normative. Mike Golden died this year, he had inched me in to the group. I’m glad he’s missing this messy time… he never ever would have worn a mask unless he was in the getaway car.

Earth Day came and I hugged my dog who was peeing next to a tree. No pee. Then she went up to a guy sitting on a bench  reading with a muffin and looked like she would pee on his long leg. He was such a gentlemen. He suggested that he had often been mistaken for a tree and wasn’t bothered in the least. Now that’s what I call humanity and nature in synch.

Note to self: Please  don’t forgive the US neglect of the Native Americans, esp. the Navajo Nation at this time/don’t  forgive the jerks trying to abolish abortion rights as non-essential/ and don’t forgive the potential damage to the working poor with the re-opening of American life

Written by nancykoan

April 25, 2020 at 1:01 am

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Chronicles of Covid. #37

Day 37, feels like 400



I’ve demoted my bras to the bottom drawer.

Swing hi, swing lo.

The mascara’s run dry,

Say good bye, say good bye.

The tooth paste must stay,

but the hair, what can I say?

I’ve grown accustomed to this look,

Locked in but free, to be to be to be.

A version of Me!

Written by nancykoan

April 13, 2020 at 10:18 pm

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Another day in resilience. On a Passover zoom seder last night, a lovely fellow from Namibia ended our conversation by suggesting that I try and not be too angry. He’s right of course. Anger does nothing for one’s immune system. But still, how can it be ignored…all the greed and betrayals by those at the helm. Spring, a time of renewal has been turned into a death march.  Even with meditation, listening to the newly discovered bird chirping and internet tai chi classes, I remain angry.

I wonder why life has been so devalued in this country. It didn’t just start with the epidemic. Just ask Black Lives Matter. And people thrown in prison for years. And guns, and lack of education and inefficient health care. Why don’t we care for each other and fight for life affirming legislation…for everyone? When did the American dream become defined by money, power and fame?

I hear the ambulance sirens and I think of Germany ’41, imagining it’s a neighbor caught by the Gestapo, saddened but relieved it’s not me, this time.

My new therapist said it was ok to feel anger, that I’m part of a large group feeling this kind of anger, even hate at this time.  I don’t want to hate. I’ve spent a fortune on vitamins and don’t care to dilute their power with hate. But I am reflecting and re-evaluating and it’s good to know I’m not alone in this.

There is richness in this time. We’re temporarily free to jump off the capital choo choo and muse on other things. And if there’s meaning in everything, that life is not haphazard, then I look for meaning also in this.

The tenth plague which finally pushes Pharaoh to give the Israelites their freedom was a doozy. Slaying of the first-born son. Horrific. This is the story of Passover and the exodus to a promised land, a new way of living. We are making cruel sacrifices every day. Is that what it will take for our country to wake up and learn to care for each other. Can we get through that narrow place to freedom? And if so, can we get there fast…it seems like it’s been 40 years already

Written by nancykoan

April 10, 2020 at 3:52 am

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darlingforcovidarticleCHRONICLES OF COVID


I heard it’s a good thing that before going to sleep at night, to think of five things one is grateful for. So now, I try and apply this dictum to the middle of the day when after waiting 20 minutes in line for a quart of milk at the local bodega and even longer for a prescription, I am ready to pull my hair out and face mask off.  Between not seeing well over the mask that is causing the kind of steam you pay for at a Russian bath and fumbling with my latex gloves as I try and push my pin code at the counter, I’m exhausted and in need of inspiration.

I always start my list with my favorite and dependable. I am grateful for Hugh Grant, Yes, still and always. No question about that.

For number two,  I’m grateful for my dog’s presence in my hunkered down, despite the fear that when this mess is all over, FEMA will have to break down my door to move out my 300 pound self and my soon-to-be 95 pound toy schnoodle.  Darling is eating like there is no tomorrow…does she know something?  Her 10:45 pm new habit is to stand in front of me, turning her little fuzzy head in the direction of the kitchen area. If I’m ignoring her because MSNBC has my full attention, she starts to whimper and prances over to her food mat and starts clanging the metal dish like a prisoner behind bars.  Annoying, but I am still grateful for her little warm body and the reminder of the beauty and power of nature.

At 7PM I am grateful that I hung my Woodstock Chimes on my fire escape so many years ago. When the church bells ring out and the neighbors start applauding, I too can join the reverie, banging my chimes in gratitude to the medical and emergency service community. Woodstock lives!

Number four is for friends near and far who think of me and reach out, some even sending a care package.  One generous heart had the good sense to send Pennsylvania chocolate peanut butter filled Easter eggs along with the special potato chip that put my hometown on the map, at least the map that all junk food aficionados keep close to their heart.  She also made me a mask that fits more like a bikini bottom. I love the cheery spring pattern mixed ever so interestingly with an abundance of string ties, giving it a slight bondage look, clearly appropriate for these times.

Finally, I’m grateful for the past. If I hadn’t lived before this moment, I would never believe that such a thing as sexy slow dancing, and meeting up with friends at a French cafe and overdosing on popcorn at a double feature at the Film Forum were possible.  I know that there is a reality beyond this moment because I lived it, remember it with fondness and believe in my well-trodden heart that it will return. Perhaps when it comes, there will be a new level of appreciation because of this moment we’re stuck in now. Go figure.



Written by nancykoan

April 10, 2020 at 2:48 am

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