Absurdities Make Us Human

Katrin Silva writes eloquently about quarantine fatigue here. For me, though, it’s all about quarantine absurdities, like this ridiculous meme a friend sent me. Sometimes I feel punch drunk from the pandemic. It beats mild panic, which hits me, too.

I think about death and how dying alone in a hospital is probably the WORST way to go. Thoughts on death were prompted by seeing a dog riding unconstrained on the back of a Harley. Really dumb to ask a dog to do that, if you ask me. But would its death be more horrible than, say, dying alone in a hospital?

Folks in southwest Colorado are getting antsy. Any unity (“Together, we’ll get through it” etc. etc.) is fraying. One’s political affiliation is worn, not on the sleeve, but on the mask. Or, rather, in one’s decision of whether or not to wear a mask, er, badge. From my unscientific polling, the left of center and pro-government types wear masks religiously (even when alone in a car, a behavior I find amusing). Those right of center and anti-government types have shed the masks long ago (if they ever wore them) and complain vocally about the pandemic being a hoax and what’s wrong with sick people dying anyway? They had it coming.

Chicks growing into chickens in their homemade coop

While I’m a dedicated agnostic, I miss regular mass at my church, St. Rita’s of Cascia. The bells ring at noon each day, which is nice but and makes me miss it even more.

Should I channel the strategic, nearly immobile patience of a spider? Are spiders Buddhist?

No, this tactic is not for me. Staying sane means being mobile, in mind and body. It’s my essential work. I dig this article by Trail Sisters on Supporting Your Health during the pandemic.

A Mother’s Day ride and pitstop

Like so many other horse owners, I’m fortunate to live rurally and have options for ‘getting out.’ I am not limited to essential errands, nor must I stay within 200 yards of home. For Mother’s Day, I took a fellow mom riding: two horses, two dogs, two gals on a warm, breezy, blissful morning. We stopped to let the horses graze and watch the dogs roll in the moist, vibrantly green grass.

Running, riding, hiking, yard work, and horse work have all kept me relatively buoyant. Spring is an intense time for plants and animals. Have you noticed? Everything’s busy and busting out with new life or the prospect of new life. In one morning’s course, I watched a magpie carry nest-building material, paused to see a coyote mousing and a tom turkey puffing up, all blue and red, for the ladies.

The horses are nearly shed out and my chicks are becoming chickens who scamper through the day, searching for bugs and grass. I’d like to think they love their new digs, but do you think they consider it a containment area? A prison? A quarantine zone for eternity??

With my friend, artist Jody Chapel, I produced a pandemic t-shirt. It emphasizes the ruralness of life here and thanks essential workers (on the back). Cow, horse, and fencing make for one big smiley face. The fencing might be hash marks, counting the days, depending on your inclination and interpretation. Let me know if you want one.

Posted in Corona Pandemic, Covid Pandemic and tagged , , , .

One Comment

  1. First of all, I went to Mancos after the first Summit and it pretty much is already the definition of social distancing, eh? I bought a lot of art there, enjoyed the scenery, and even have a photo by an artist there to remember the views. Add horses and, well, the words green with envy come to mind. 🙂 Secondly, I am so glad someone else is amused by people with masks on in the car. But my biggest conundrum is how difficult it seems to be for people to determine/recognize six feet. I fixed that problem. On my very few excursions for health and wellness checks with my horse at the boarding barn, I take a bright red seven foot dressage whip as a reminder of space.

    Three feet seems to be the new six feet these days. So I will get used to wearing a mask. Found a beautiful Lauren Birch horse pattern in my fabric stash and made a fairly comfortable fitted mask with adjustable straps. If anyone is reading this who wants a custom mask, it’s a doable project developed by a woman I think would fit in with the Cayuse Community: https://www.prettyhandygirl.com/best-fit-facemask/

    My third thought is how far removed people seem to be from being able to “sit with themselves.” To just be still, reflective, and thoughtful. Two days into the stay home order, there was wild flailing around if the media outlets, social and otherwise, are to be believed. Jim Gaffigan does a piece on CBS Sunday morning about his apartment lock-down with wife and five kids. His comments are humorous, he is a comedian after all, but they often lament things that his wife has to do every day, quarantine or no. Typical! On Facebook I see people I enjoy and love railing about cabin fever. Really? We have phones, books, televisions, devices galore and can stay in touch with people near and far all day long. Imagine this group of people trying to exist in a cabin miles from a neighbor with nothing but their thoughts, hard work, and maybe some livestock — like the pioneers. Have we lost the ability to be strong and have spirit? I watch what seems to be a devolution to blame and self-pity instead of strength and caring. Again, though, I’m sure that is because that makes a story and showing all the coping people in the media does not.

    And yes, well said. Absurdities do make us human and they do abound in these pandemic times. In my small town of 2400, that is nowhere near as cool as Mancos by the way, the city has one of those reader boards with plastic letters that displays various announcements we can see as we drive past. They have reminded us that “Kindness is not Cancelled.” That is what I try to keep in mind. Now I have to go do my virtual Pilates class (I do both live and recorded), write a grant for JCI (I never see those people in person), watch a new episode of virtual Louvre, catch up on Julie Goodnight’s Daily Dose of Horsemanship, doing some organizing, make a mask for a friend, enjoy life and smugly (I am self-aware) wonder what all the kvetching is about because I see a treasure of opportunity and resources to fill the time now so we may live on to enjoy the future. Thanks for sharing your thoughts as it is another notch in my daily belt of things to do and done.

    Oh and, parenthetically, someone needs to create a way to groom a shedding horse that does not involve touching your face! AAACK

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