Call No. 1527

Thursday, May 7, 2020 at 11:05:16 PM EDT

Hi. I’m calling from Rochester, New York. That’s far, far upstate in Western New York.

Let’s see. I’m in my study. I’m actually just getting ready to teach my very last online class, and I’ve actually asked the class to think about what is the sound of a pandemic, or what is the sound of this pandemic, or what does the sound of your pandemic? And one of the assignments I gave them was to reflect on this question and then contribute to some archives about the current pandemic. So this is my, one of my contributions.

It’s beautiful outside. Spring is popping here. It’s early May. Everything is green and lush. It’s gray and rainy and actually getting a little cold. We even had snow last week, but the spring is really coming and it’s so necessary and so hopeful.

My study itself is actually in total disarray because we’ve had an invasion of carpenter ants, I believe. So, I’ve been turning over everything. There’s a trunk up on its side. There’s a guest bed in here, that’s, all the blankets are taken off, because I’ve been trying to kill lots of carpenter ants, which has been deeply ironic, cause it feels like some kind of message about, how you can’t keep the chaos out, no matter how hard you try. And you can’t keep nature out either.

I’m looking forward to hearing what my students have to say about the sound of the pandemic. They are spread across the United States and the world. Some are still here in Rochester, some are in China. And I just know that the experience has played out really differently for each of them.

I’ve been really grateful to be here with my husband and my daughter, to be gardening, to have access to outdoor space, to not be stuck in a tiny, small space and maybe not even to be in a place where the lockdown is really harsh. So yesterday we planted a Witch Hazel tree, a cherry tree and asparagus, and I don’t know if there’s anything that’s more helpful or more future oriented than planting new plants. I’m really excited to see those live and thrive and evolve in the years to come. Thanks.