Five minutes from now (and the way I write while the writing is happening) the Governor is going to mandate a shelter in place thing. Essentially making common sense official. Shelter in place. Like most of us already are.
Fundamentally, yeah, we’re limited a great deal right now. Curve flattening involves a great deal of couch surfing. But while grappling constantly for silver linings I realized, in at least a small way, being “in place” is a state of mind.
This morning I called all my students. Shockingly, most of them were able to talk to me. I didn’t leave my couch, but I sort of did. The main risk of that breach of social distancing is that I can think of at least one student who will most definitely do something interesting with my phone number eventually.
Then I went for a run and really traveled. After about a block it became abundantly clear that yes, due (I believe) to my neck injury I still can’t run. But I put on all the clothes. I was listening to the last Wilco album that came out that I never gave a proper listen to. I decided, begrudgingly, to walk. Walking, to me, is like naps or sushi. Fractional. You need a bunch in order to make up a whole thing. I thought I’d maybe make one trip around the neighborhood but as my leg stopped hurting and the album began to soak in, I just kept making turns and going farther.
See, we have tickets to see Wilco and Sleater Kinney at the end of August in a pavilion at a beautiful outdoor venue in downtown Chicago. As I began to realize my very extended walk was, indeed, a decent workout (and that I need to listen to the album more) I began to imagine the summer sun and thousands of fans loving being together and experiencing live music. I dug into that future-memory further and realized the show was going to be a week or two into NEXT YEAR’S school year. When my new batch is happily in my classroom getting to know me and getting used to the well-worn routines that go with attending school, as well as my own particular idiosyncratic routines that always make my kids, my kids. I went there. I walked there.
Sigh. Ok, the guy with the hair and the suit has just interrupted Dr Phil. The kids and I are going to watch now. Good luck, everyone. Safe travels.