wild times, and a reading

Posts have been continuing as normal here, but I just wanted to pause and acknowledge that the world is turning upside down and all is not “normal.” I’m safe, as much as anyone is these days I think, but I’m… disrupted and upset and frightened. The college where I teach held our last day of in-person classes on March 12, and then sent all students home from the dorms, took a few days’ break, and reopened with online classes on March 18. So, a semester and a half into my teaching career, I’ve been undertaking a new format. It’s been a bit hectic. I’m worried for my students. I’m readjusting to a life lived in my house, in my laptop, and in round-the-clock contact with Hops (he is thrilled).

just as long as we’re together

I am lucky and privileged to be as safe and secure as I am, which is not entirely, but better off than many. This post is not meant to be self-pitying. But I needed to pause, as I said, my usual programming to say: we are all topsy-turvy. If you still want book reviews, they will still be here twice a week. They do get a little harder to produce, though, I confess.

If you are like me and you’re luckier than most, think about what you can do to help. I like the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, which supports booksellers in times of crisis. We want independent booksellers to survive! I’m also looking into options like the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation and USBG National Charity Foundation for food & beverage service workers, whose work I so appreciate and who are mostly or entirely out of income just now. (Bars and restaurants have been closed in the state of West Virginia, and in many states and communities, and probably more will be closing; where they are allowed to be open, business is obviously slow.)

(I have loved some bars.)

If you can help someone else, do so. And obviously, please, isolate and take precautions – not just for yourself, but for others and for community.

And now, a reading. If you’re here, maybe, like me, you’ll appreciate a restorative by way of Paul Kingsnorth, whom I love. I find his truths to be beautifully expressed, painful, and exquisitely true. So “in the time of the great, strange plague,” here is “Finnegas” (h/t Pops for finding this). I find it comforting, and beautiful. “We should be saying: stories were the problem. We should be saying: no more stories, not from us.” (Shades of Savage Gods.) Read, and be safe. Book reviews will be back on Friday. Take care of each other. Thank you.

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