#49 | Future Plans

“Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road– Only wakes upon the sea. – Antonio Machado

My cat Felix, watching another cat on TV. #Meta

Good morning!

How are you doing? Are you getting some exercise (even if only a little bit)? Eating as good as you can? Connecting with others as best you can (from a safe distance, of course!)?

Like so many of you, we are entering our fourth week of staying at home, and while we are OK – my wife and I both are pretty high-ranking introverts, we both have offices at home, we have a pretty nice amount of food in our pantry and a chest freezer full of meat and frozen vegetables – we have entered what can only be called a new level of mourning for the past as we accept our new normal.

And I think that is what this is – a new normal. I don’t think we ever can go back to the way it was. The best timelines I have seen for a vaccine that can be rolled out at scale is measured in terms of months and even years, not days or weeks.

I think this is our WWII, our Great Depression, our Civil War – a widespread event that leads to privation and massive loss, and that changes society forever as a result. Only, this time it isn’t just a US event, but a global one. The ramifications for this are mind-blowing.

I’m ever hopeful, but also ruthlessly pragmatic, so I am beginning to make plans that assume some form of this current status for six months to a year. So I am building both a chicken coop and a vide studio for virtual meetings. I’m ordering more canned goods when I do the grocery shopping and building more pantry shelving. And in our garden this year, we are planting not only vegetables but also flowers. Because the vegetables are necessary for us to live, but the flowers remind us of what we are living for.

Five Beautiful Things

  • Here are five beautiful public gardens (including Monet’s at Giverny and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew) that have virtual tours, if you are getting tired of looking only at your own flower beds.
  • Traffic light art? This is both beautiful and creepy. (via Kottke)
  • The National Zoo has livestreams of some of their popular animals, like the naked molerat and the giant pandas, if your kids (or you) need a fieldtrip.
  • The loss of Bill Withers last week felt like we were being punched in the gut. There’s no sunshine when he’s gone. (FYI – a lot of his music is available to stream for free on Amazon Prime if you are a member).
  • If the loss of Bill Withers was a punch in the gut, the loss of Ellis Marsalis felt like God is just trolling us. Here is a lovely piece from when he and his sons were on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood back in the day.

An update

So, starting a podcast is slow AF. Who knew? I mean, to actually record, edit, and upload an episode is not really a big deal. Once you know how to do it, you know how to do it. But then you have to wait for the various directories to recognize you exist. Like the two biggest, iTunes and Spotify.

But my little podcast does exist, and I have uploaded two episodes and will get the other two uploaded in the next 48 hours, and then we will be caught up. You can listen to them here in the meantime, and we will just continue calling this the soft-opening phase.