I miss blogs.

I miss the mundanity of them, the softness of the medium, not sharp-edged and in-your-face the way Instagram and Facebook are. Blogs don't demand your attention; you read what you are looking for. You stay in one place, and your attention continues on a straight line.

I miss writing on blogs, where glimmers of profundity emerge from smallness and quietness. Rarely a sweeping proclamation or huge epiphany. No need to educate anyone or broadcast news.

It's not journaling exactly—you might expect a few people to read it. But the exchange is mutually agreed upon; you're not blasting someone's inbox, shoving your newsletter into their brain.

I don't write on this blog much, and I don't know if anyone reads this anymore, but I don't really care. (I'm not going to ask anyone to read this; I will not make any kind of announcement; I am fine remaining in a hole in this corner of the web where I can write demanding needing money or praise in return.)

Something about being cooped up at home all day during this pandemic is forcing me to return to healthier ways of coping—my body is so tired of frenzy. Today I remembered blogging.

It is day 15 of the covid-19 lockdown. The San Francisco lock-down was announced March 15, and began March 17.

I am getting used to the rhythms of being inside all day, and I continually wonder what it would be like if we had to live the rest of our lives this way.

I create a schedule for myself every night, wake up the next morning, and watch as each block of time goes tumbling down like a domino chain. I harbor an unhealthy amount of regret and disdain toward myself.

I spend a lot of time making food. Less time eating it. I've resorted to eating cookies and tea for breakfast because I can only muster the effort to eat two whole meals a day. This is very unlike me.

I am often anxious and jittery, but I can't tell whether that is from the existential angst of having very little direction in life, or if it's from the sudden pressure of feeling like I must seize every moment of every day, now that I, in some way, have every moment of every day to myself.


Quentin Bell’s biography told the story of his aunt, who happened to be the famous writer Virginia Woolf. But it was a family story really, about a woman with psychotic episodes, her husband’s coping with this, her sister’s distress. It had, as I said, the smell of a household. It was not about the sentences in Virginia Woolf’s books. The Wharton biography, though more a “literary” biography, dealt with status, not with the writer’s private heart. What do I mean by “private heart”? It’s probably impossible to define, but it’s not what the writer does—breakfast, schedule, social outings—but what the writer is. The secret contemplative self. An inner recess wherein insights occur. This writer’s self is perhaps coextensive with one of the writer’s sentences. It seems to me that more can be found about a writer in any single sentence in a work of fiction, say, than in five or ten full-scale biographies. Or interviews!
-Cynthia Ozick,  "The Art of Fiction No. 95," The Paris Review


"It could be said, even here, that what remains of the self
Unwinds into a vanishing light, and thins like dust, and heads
To a place where knowing and nothing pass into each other, and through;
That it moves, unwinding still, beyond the vault of brightness ended,
And continues to a place which may never be found, where the unsayable,
Finally, once more is uttered, but lightly, quickly, like random rain
That passes in sleep, that one imagines passes in sleep.
What remains of the self unwinds and unwinds, for none
Of the boundaries holds – neither the shapeless one between us,
Nor the one that falls between your body and your voice. Joseph,
Dear Joseph, those sudden reminders of your having been – the places
And times whose greatest life was the one you gave them – now appear
Like ghosts in your wake. What remains of the self unwinds
Beyond us, for whom time is only a measure of meanwhile
And the future no more than et cetera et cetera ... but fast and forever"
-Mark Strand, "In Memory of Joseph Brodsky"


Since brass, nor stone, nor earth, nor boundless sea
But sad mortality o’er-sways their power,
How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea,
Whose action is no stronger than a flower?
O, how shall summer’s honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt’ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but time decays?
O fearful meditation! where, alack,
Shall time’s best jewel from time’s chest lie hid?
Or what strong hand can hold his swift foot back?
Or who his spoil of beauty can forbid?
   O, none, unless this miracle have might,
   That in black ink my love may still shine bright.

Sonnet 65 by William Shakespeare


"It’s the fact that once again you were joyfully facing the harsh limitations of reality, admitting that it all had to be taken and turned into a story of some kind. Otherwise, it would just be one more expression of precise discontent. And expressions of discontent—you think in the car, sitting in front of your own house now—no matter how beautiful, never solve the riddle of the world, or bring the banality of sequential reality to a location of deeper grace."
-David Means, "Two Ruminations on a Homeless Brother"