the work that keeps us alive

I’ve been running at dusk, into the fading light - chasing it. And the impossibility of the task, of running down the day into the night, is where I feel alive. No small feat in this mass of pandemic time. On the way home, I can’t make out the rocks on the recently graded dirt road, but by moonlight in these mountains, I make my way home. I don’t need to see where I’m going - at least that is what I tell myself.

After losing my sense of taste in November, I craved salt. I ate saltines - a mouthful of ash (as I wrote to a friend) - by the box, littering my room with their plastic wrappers. I could not get enough, and yet I could not taste anything. But the memory was there, and oh, to taste that salt.

Without taste, I became disoriented. I stopped wanting - to read, to write. I don’t know if those things are related.

Over the past months, a few things, moments that have felt like chasing the light, tasting the salt:

Reading letters from the dead & being reminded of how alive they are in their writing

Photos by Graciela Iturbide & Mary Ellen Mark

A designer sending me a hand-drawn sketch of a book I’m a part of

The stars at night when I walk home

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (the one book I didn’t put down)

An armadillo shocked to see me on the road & frozen in fear - such odd but endearing creatures!

I am thankful for the work - the creative work, the workings of the natural world - that is alive with meaning.