Imagine a community that’s sheltered from the worst effects of Covid-19 — a little bubble of stability in an uncertain world, pumped up by hope, powered by teamwork, rebuilding itself.
We all live in bubbles, inside bubbles, in a little blue bubble in space.
Re-entering New Zealand’s Covid-free* bubble, citizens spend 14 days in military-supervised quarantine before release into the wild. Two-weeks of ‘managed isolation’ in Auckland’s Crowne Plaza Hotel isn’t exactly a prison, but it’s not quite a honeymoon either — it’s more like a bubble of privilege.
In October, my husband and I served out our time while keeping socially distanced from hundreds of masked travelers, also in ‘managed isolation’. We waited inside our bubble, inside a hotel bubble — all within the bubble of New Zealand. …
Crossing the field, Mira joined the Bone Whisperer beside the fire where she presided over a scorched pot of darkness. Perched on her battered chair, the Bone Whisperer ladled Mira a cup and taking it, cautiously, the younger woman inhaled. Not recognizing the infusion, but mindful of her manners, she cocked her head, “You give me tea, Mother of Twilight?”
“It will help you to do your work,” came the gruff reply.
Mira dared not drink. And seeing this, the woman added, “It opens a window to the sky. It’s Bird Medicine.” She waved her hand at the steaming cup in the younger woman’s hand. …
More than 50,000 New Zealanders have returned home since the pandemic disrupted life worldwide — me among them. Having quelled Covid-19’s spread in the community, New Zealanders plan to keep it that way. So on arrival at the airport, returning Kiwis go direct to a government-provided hotel where our countdown to arrival begins.
Welcome home to 14-days of ‘managed isolation.’ It’s an inside job. Doom with a view anyone?
In my case, I’m staying with my partner Alan in a 250-square foot room. So far, so good. The first nine days have passed like any other Blursday in 2020. After all, we are seasoned veterans of sheltering-in-place. Along with most of the world, in March, we had weeks of nail-biting ‘lock-down’ without the benefit of knowing as much as we know now about Covid-19. …
Read Part I here.
You hate it when your fantasy world gets serious — but a huge plot-hole blows right through your enchanted garden.
Only a moment ago, you were plotting the author’s demise. Now the earth rumbles with a roar, as the garden’s foundation crumbles beneath your feet.
Mossy bricks turn to dust.
You are falling.
Author and Character. Creator and Created. Both down the drain.
Who knew a black hole could just open up and swallow you both whole?
It’s a literal abyss.
Life gets unreal when it collapses.
Tumbling, together, like this broken sentence. Descending through a word salad into a cloud of verbal mush. …
Another Blursday morning.
Living the dream in an enchanted garden, and life still gives you lemons.
Sequestering through summer, hanging out in the tree house — everything has grown sour.
Interrupted from a conversation inside your head—looking up.
What does it all mean?
Maybe you’re just hungry?
You feel like a word salad.
Is that someone hammering on the tree house door?
Opening the door just a crack, peering into anxious eyes. Is something abyss?
“Let me in,” she demands, breathing heavily after climbing the tree house ladder.
“Now!” she elbows her way through the door. Sounding familiar, she stands in the hallway, wheezing. …
For several weeks in early 2015, an ulcer in my mouth turned each meal into a small serving of misery. When I saw the doctor, he wasn’t concerned. “Come back in a month if it’s still bothering you,” he said.
Spoiler alert. Things get tasteless.
I should have listened to my body. Maybe I should have found a new doctor. But I was busy.
Busy. Busy. Busy.
When I returned to the doctor’s office a few weeks later, it hurt to say, “It’s getting worse.”
As he peered into my mouth, he grew quiet and took a biopsy.
I would rather not talk about oral cancer. Is tumor humor just too tasteless? …
As night settled in, the Bone Whisperer lit a fire at the edge of the field. Near the fire pit, three skeletons lay sprawled in the grass reflecting in the moonlight.
Over by the old school building, there was a large pile of bones that the old woman had gathered from the eroding cemetery collapsed on the shore nearby. Standing alone by the little bone mountain, Mira watched from a distance as the Bone Whisperer fed the fire. The wood crackled as the flames took hold.
It was a relief to have a moment to gather her thoughts.
The old woman believed she could bring back the dead! Mira was fascinated by this, and afraid. She dreaded what task the Bone Whisperer might ask her to do. She barely understood it. The wind hissed its questions through the mountain of bones, and Mira had no answers. …
After resting through the heat of the day, Mira rose at twilight to prepare for the night’s vigil. Nearby, in the dead tree, the crow flock had disappeared for the night. Only one bird remained.
“Good Evening Grandmother Crow,” Mira said, bowing her head.
“Caw! Caw! Caw!” was the only reply, but Mira trusted she would understand her teacher’s meaning — all in good time. For now, she was glad for some company.
Approaching the two corpses that lay beneath the tree, Mira re-covered their crow-ravaged bodies with their ragged blanket. …