Re-Entry

“The most we can do is to write — intelligently, creatively, evocatively — about what it is like living in the world at this time.”

Oliver Sacks, as quoted by Bill Hayes

I’m starting to get out some, see friends. I went to a garden party and drank mimosas, saw people I knew, talked to a few of them, and it wasn’t too weird. I went to a street fair with art and food trucks, looked at jewelry and pottery, saw more people I knew. Mostly just waved at them and smiled.

Re-acclimating. Seeing. Being seen.

I went to a friend’s house and we made dinner: salad with strawberries and spinach, a plate of pasta with peppers.

Sat in a big barn with another friend. Talked about making a film. Shared pecans from a tree down the road, pesto made from herbs from her yard.

At the local public radio station where I host NPR shows a couple days a week, the mask mandate has been lifted. We’re all vaxxed there, and there are few of us in the building at any given time: the on-air staff, the engineers, the comptroller. Others come and go, but it’s a big space, and most of the office staff is still working remotely. We continue to report the weekly numbers, infection rates, deaths by county. There continue to be infections, and deaths.

I tuck a mask into my pocket when I go out into the world, still put one on at the supermarket, the library. But I’m seeing the faces of my friends again, my co-workers.

This is what it’s like, living in the world.

Re-emergence. Re-entry. Which dropped stitches of our pre-pandemic lives will we pick up, and which will we leave to their unraveling?

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