#18 – october 21: lingering covid

I’m wrapping up my covid chronicles with this18th and final installment. Maybe I’ll revisit the topic later, when these pandemic times truly feel behind us. But right now, almost three years in, covid is still here and people are still dying everyday. Most of the world, however, is getting on with it, the booster shots … Continue reading #18 – october 21: lingering covid

Gardening lessons – July 2022

I think it was anthropologist Mary Douglas who wrote, “dirt is matter out of place.” Such a pithy way of explaining the importance of cultural context in defining the boundaries between the pure and impure, the clean and unclean, and the ways whole societies organize themselves around those definitions. This is what came to mind … Continue reading Gardening lessons – July 2022

#17 – february 8: the tyranny of normal

2019. I look back at photos from that time with a bit of wonder. My 50th birthday celebration at a Chicago restaurant with friends who’d traveled from other cities. Our spring break trip to Korea with my mother. The kids’ birthday parties at one venue or another. Our then-6th grader’s first middle school dance. One … Continue reading #17 – february 8: the tyranny of normal

#16 – september 18: are we “post”?

Clearly not. There was a moment this summer, sometime in June or July when the vaccine became available for kids 12 and over, when there seemed to be a collective unclenching, a sigh of relief as we returned to some limited gatherings indoors and looked forward to a much better school year. People traveled and … Continue reading #16 – september 18: are we “post”?

#13 — february 14: J. Hillis Miller, a remembrance

I found out from a Facebook post that famed literary critic J. Hillis Miller had died of Covid on Feb. 7 at age 92. Professor Miller was my dissertation advisor at UC Irvine, where I was in graduate school for most of the ‘90’s. By the time I’d enrolled in his seminar, he’d been a … Continue reading #13 — february 14: J. Hillis Miller, a remembrance

#12 – december 31: ending the year in a pandemic

Every year I put together a family photo calendar with photos from the previous year arranged in chronological order month by month. 2021’s January page features pictures of us at the Chicago Botanic Garden Lightscape show and February features my younger son’s birthday party at a trampoline place that I doubt is still in business. … Continue reading #12 – december 31: ending the year in a pandemic

#11- november 25: giving thanks in a pandemic

What is the right way to give thanks in a pandemic? There are the obvious things to be thankful for: our health, our jobs, a warm house, plenty of food, each other. And there are the obvious ways not to do it: gathering in groups with those outside your household; not wearing your mask; letting … Continue reading #11- november 25: giving thanks in a pandemic