Wednesday, May 13, 2020

writing gesture and body language

Since last winter I've been revising short fiction set in other countries. Increasingly, especially when working on a story set in the 80s or 90s, I wondered if I was writing historical fiction. No ATM machines. Having to wait for news from home by asking at the American Express Office if a letter had arrived. (A letter as in handwritten pages in an envelope with stamps in the corner.) Sitting in the December sunshine in a park because it was warmer than the unheated room we were renting. Being able to travel on $20/day. Not having to stand in line to get into... well, just about anywhere if you travelled off-season.

In these past... how long has it been? Two months? I'm starting to wonder if I'm writing FANTASY fiction. People drove or got on planes to arrive in a place where the climate and customs and language were different? And then they might share a hotel room with a stranger. I don't mean sex. Just, hey, are you looking for a room, so am I. Wanna share? Not to mention racy little details like touching a person to get their attention. Sharing food. Lending a sweater. Tickling a child that isn't yours and blowing a raspberry on her stomach. All that spit! What a world of potentially germ-infested interactions!  

What is going to happen to our whole lexicon of (germ-infested) interpersonal body language and gesture? From now on, is it all going to be about distance, masks, gloves and face shields? How do you do tone of voice through a mask?  

While pondering that...

The tulips are from our very small backyard where I coaxed some tulips to bloom. I would have liked to leave them outside, enjoying the sun and refrigerated temps of the past couple of weeks. But after the squirrels bit a few heads off, I decided it was a nicer end to come indoors and get blowsy in a vase than to be chomped at the neck. Nicer for me at least. 

I have not yet been able to get into our community garden. (Soon, but not yet.) This is what I can see from the street. Purple marks my rhubarb. I have a couple of black currant bushes and can see my winter garlic too.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

walking where no one walks

I'm not sure why in a time of social distancing--AS IN NOW--people are heading in droves to Parc Lafontaine, Mont Royal, the Lachine Canal.

People say they need to get outside, they want their exercise. Okay, me too!

There are places to walk that aren't as pretty-picturesque but they belong to the city we live in too.

Nobody else is there. Isn't that the point?

Last fall someone was looking forward to sitting on this bench, maybe on their coffee break? to read a book? have lunch with a friend? That person planted tulip bulbs. The building itself is closed until further notice. I sat there for them.