I have been trying to write to you for weeks but every time I reread the words I wrote they seem unhelpful, foreign even. Written by a sad person. But here you are – a bunch of unrelated beginnings:
I don’t know which days I wrote them:
Do you feel like you have been living in a tunnel. I do. I watched a little frog hop into the bushes last night ahead of my booted feet – it is wet and warming up so the little frogs are out – it was like the tiniest of shadows, insubstantial, a tiny ghost caught in my eye then gone. I feel like this frog, scuttling to and fro along my designated pathways of mill to farm to mill to farm, forced to move on only two tired legs, not quite sure why things are thus.
Then: I have not written lately because this is how I think now. Maudlin and cast down.
Another day I wrote this: Breath has become our enemy. Mouths are covered. Ears strain forward from elastic bands. We focus on eyes, we are masters now at reading eyes.
Then this: I am searching for more masks for my mill people. Everything is going to take weeks to be delivered. I will not buy the disposable masks used by more important people. Even if I could find them. I leave those for the more important people. I search for American made ones. Ones made from the left overs of other projects like shirts or hoodies.
Everyone only tolerates wearing the masks but me. I feel safe behind one. My face can rest. I let my eyes do the talking. I feel less ‘seen’ but I am behind a mask fourteen hours a day so I also feel suffocated and confined. I need to find more filters.
Hmm: just discovered that there is no space in my little abattoir for my beef cows. With the big slaughter houses closed my little place is booked up to February. 2021! The hogs will be even longer. This is all no good. Nothing I can do about that problem. But no meat for us for a while.
And: I have decided to take the Airbnb offline. It is my safe place now. And people make me nervous.
This: I still have been nowhere but the mill and the farm. Since this all began. Since just after I got back from New Zealand. In fact I feel as though I might never go anywhere again.
This entry: The world as we know it is gone. We are facing an uncertain future. We are. Due to aggressive proactive measures ‘ shelter and wait’ the human loss has been mitigated but at a terrific cost to our futures. I believe this minute organism, so small it can be carried on and expelled by breath, yet replicates 2000 times faster than a cold and has big teeth, is the catalyst of a new way of living. This will not be the first pandemic to hit our modern delicate biological systems. We need to be always ready now. Plan ahead.
But we are herd animals. We collect in tribes. In years past these tribes and villages did live close and safe – connections were at yearly gatherings or fairs. A funeral was a village affair – a wedding the same. People did not wander far. The biggest cities were always dangerous, beset with disease and strife. But we need our tribe – we need to gather.
So, In a way this is not new. Staying in our patches. A mill feeding her village and sending flour in sacks to the big towns bakers is old. Going to a local farm to buy your eggs and milk is old. Having large country gardens and city gardens is old.
A later thought: I have just realized that my Green Card never came. The immigrant service must have been disbanded. Immigration is at a stand still here in the U.S. and my application seems to have been caught up in the slow down. I am not alarmed. The repercussions of being illegal would include eviction from the U.S. I would want to self isolate for a long time before I could see my family though. But NZ feels safer to me now. I did complete the application procedure so I think that should help whenever that big machine starts up again.
And this morning.: Sheila and Poppy are well. Sheila is so much happier now that it is warm. Wai and Tima get on alright but do not choose each other’s company.
Mr Flowers limps about curling his bad foot under and using it as a crutch but when he flies out of the barn in the morning he is still our regal jewel.
I have lost two of the new pigs to some ailment. I wormed them and the vet sent antibiotics but still two died fast and the rest still have not started to really thrive. One is still particularly unwell but I am determined not to give up. I carry him out into patches of deep weeds and grass for the day. He eats out there and is drinking again but still very unsteady.
Dogs are good. Cats are all present and correct. The chickens are laying and the ducks have taken us over. One is sitting on eggs right next to the front door in the garden by the deck.
She is well camouflaged.
Today for the first time in what feels like forever the sun is out.
I think sun will help.
Take care my darlings – sorry to talk so much about myself. But I feel foggy and out of focus. I have lost my sense of being and am just waiting now. Like some of you maybe. Lucky I have a very busy job. But still a large part of my Self has curled up by the fire with her back to the world. Still. Gathering my forces maybe. But deep down. I have gone deep.