April 9, 2021

People are getting vaccinated

People I know are starting to get vaccinated.

Depending on where they live, friends and family are starting to receive their COVID vaccines, and I couldn’t be happier for them. The faster we all get vaccinated, the closer we all are to resuming some kind of life where in-person social interaction isn’t verboten.

I miss people. I miss my friends, my family, but I also miss the baristas and librarians and all the acquaintances that made up my everyday life prior to the pandemic. I miss connecting with strangers over coffee and helping people find books at the library; I miss having people over for dinner and bumping into friends while browsing a bookstore.

The way things are going in this province, I probably won’t be getting vaccinated for several months at least, which means all those interactions that I miss won’t be resuming until the end of the year at the earliest. I’ll admit to a small amount of vaccine FOMO, but mostly I’m just glad that the people closest to me are starting to get vaccinated now, instead of having to wait for months like I will.

I like to imagine about the first things I will do once I am vaccinated. Mostly, they are simple: visit the library, work at a coffee shop, have a meal in a restaurant, have a friend over for lunch, hug my mom and dad and grandmother. Any sort of grand indulgence, like taking road trips or traveling to different countries, will have to wait, not just because we have a infant daughter—caring for a small child makes planning for extravagance difficult—but because these things are best resumed when everyone else is vaccinated, too.

And so my anticipation is for the small pleasures and tiny delights; once I am vaccinated, I will hopefully get to enjoy little things that have been unavailable this past year. There is a strange comfort to be found in anticipating the mundane: we are too often caught up in hoping for grandness that we forget that waiting for the small joys can be just as heartwarming, if not more so.

For now, people around me are getting vaccinated. As more and more of my loved ones get their vaccines, we get closer and closer to getting to be able to hug them, be in their presence again. This is the tiny delight that I am waiting for most: being with the people I love. No grand plans, no big adventures—just being with them is enough.

Two poems

Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.

Suggested Donation
Heather Christle

In the morning I drink
coffee until I can see
a way to love life
again. It’s ok, there’s
no difference between
flying and thinking
you’re flying until
you land. Somehow
I own like six nail clippers
and I honestly can’t
remember ever buying
even one. My sister
came to visit and
saw them in a small
wooden bowl. I
heard her laughing in
the bathroom. I hope
she never dies. There’s
no harm in hoping
until you land.
The deer are awake.
Is one pregnant?
If they kept diaries
the first entry would
read: Was born
Was licked
Tried walking
Then they’d walk
away and no second
entry would ever exist.
I run the deer’s
archive. It’s very
light work. Visitors
must surrender
their belongings.
Surrender to me
your beautiful shirt.

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Endlessly delightful: Oral Florist

Hillary Waters Fayle stitches brightly hued florals into found camellia leaves:

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