When Negative is Positive.
MY RESULTS came back this afternoon. Eight long days after the test (Nevada’s low taxes at work). Whoopee! I’m Covid free. So, now what?
What with our local infection rates raging exponentially, like much of the country, it seems my quarantine was just good practice. After all this, I’m thinking that being reckless and stupid would really be reckless and stupid. So I’m celebrating at home, at my keyboard. Maybe I should type IN ALL CAPS!!!???
Thanks for all your kind comments and concerns. Much appreciated. This virus is incredibly dangerous and easy to catch. And it can be hard to recover from: nearly twenty percent are diagnosed with new or increased mental health issues; many more are diagnosed with organ damage, blood clots and chronic fatigue that may linger for years. Please remain mindful and careful. I’ll try to do the same. It’s not easy.
That a significant minority of Americans choose to believe Covid is a hoax is disheartening and perhaps more terrifying than the disease itself. Literally millions are putting themselves, their families and communities, and potentially their dedicated front line caregivers at grave risk for a junkie’s high of smug self-aggrandizement. It’s an unimaginable jubilation of willfully ignorant arrogance. And all the more reason to be hyper-vigilant even if, like me, you are dreading yet another day of caution and confinement. Or should I say, “especially if…”
So stay safe. Be well. It’s a jungle out there…
INSPIRED BY the pergola kit from Lowe’s we installed in our backyard last year, I designed and built a trellis to match for the front. Although a redwood tree was harmed in the process, our intentions are green. Besides softening the view of the cul-de-sac from our breakfast nook, the honeysuckle and clematis starts on either end will eventually double as a hummingbird magnets and triple as a carbon sink. Or so I like to think.
Thing is, there has to be more to life than mobilizing against our mindless slide into climate catastrophe. Not much more, but even a little bit of gracious affirmation goes a long way. So, here’s to life while it lasts…
An Unexpected Song of the Month.
I RECENTLY recommited to creating a Song of the Month, starting in September. For the relaunch, I’d intended to record “Jack,” my true tale about the harmless but crazy janitor from my graphic design days. And I will. For October.
Meantime, I’d been sitting on a request from Sravasti Abbey to produce a banjo-backed version of an ancient Sanskrit chant that I needed to complete first. Since their mission is to establish the Tibetan Buddhism monastic tradition in the West, they wanted something with a touch of Americana to use in video soundtracks. A really fun idea, I thought. And it was.
It also consumed far more (blissful) time than I anticipated; and then, to my surprise, seemed more accessible to non-Buddhists than I expected. And since I’d run out of time to record Jack for September, I realized (rationalized?) it could be a cool offering for restarting my monthly commitment. Either way, here it is.
Yes, something fun, spiritually uplifting and non-political/non-apocalyptic. Almost un-American these days…
P O S T S C R I P T
IN THE PROCESS, I’m also abandoning the “newsletter” format for monthly song releases and including them in my more-or-less weekly blog. Cleaner, simpler and easier to retrieve this way.
Not Just Another Flu.
ALTHOUGH last week’s post on racism and democracy generated much positive feedback, and I intend to continue that discussion, there is an element of the media’s relentless Covid-19 coverage that has pushed itself to the forefront of my consciousness—because it remains overlooked even as various states haphazardly reopen (and re-close): that more than a few Covid SURVIVORS will never fully recover.
I bring this up now because 1) it is an annoying, even reckless journalistic oversight; and 2) meanwhile, many of us, including me, are growing tired of the limitations imposed to “flatten the curve” of infections: the social isolation, social distancing, wearing of masks everywhere, relentless hand washing—the novelty of all this has long since worn off and many of us, including me, are tempted to at least bend some corners for social and emotional relief. After all, it’s only about one percent who die from Covid, right? And many of those were already in bad health and/or had pre-existing conditions, right?
What is rarely mentioned is the damage and debilitation—possibly permanent—Covid can cause a significant portion of the 99 percent who do survive, including those who were perfectly heathy before being infected.
- This from Science News: “In 70 patients who survived COVID-19 pneumonia, 66 had some level of lung damage visible in CT scans taken before hospital discharge.”
- Or from the UK’s Business Insider: “The worst-hit coronavirus survivors could be left with lung damage that takes up to 15 years to heal.”
- Or Gulf News: “1 in 3 survivors may suffer ‘irreversible’ lung damage.”
So if, like me, you’re tired of the social isolation, etc., etc., just try to imagine how tired you might become of trying catch your breath every time you walk across the room for the next decade—or possibly even the rest of your life, which could also be shortened.
The point being: now is not the time to relax preventive disciplines. I don’t much like it either, but…
…Covid-19 is not just another flu.
Just saying. Stay safe. Stay well.
POSTSCRIPT: ON A HAPPIER NOTE…
LIKE A lightning bug in a jar, Friday night’s live-streamed, seven-song Covid Couch Concert 2.0 was captured and its remaining luminescence can be viewed in the safe isolation of one’s own home on my YouTube channel. The theme: people I have known or known of. Was fun to make. Might even be fun to watch. You never know…
VERY LITTLE, when it comes to American Black history. What little I do know is horrifying.
I’m currently reading “These Truths“ by Jill Lapore, an overview of American history from Columbus to the present. In it, I learned that the seeds of slavery and democracy were both planted in the colonies in the same year, 1619. The first slaves (kidnapped from Africa, then stolen at sea by pirates) were sold there just when the first gathering of the colonial governing bodies met to discuss increasing their democratic representation. That’s right. Slavery for you. Democracy for me.
Insanely illogical as it may seem, in America these polar opposites flourished together, like a double helix of depravity and inspiration, apparently inseparable yet grotesquely incompatible. It’s a story of moral madness, a damning testimony to the ease with which we humans see things as we want to see them and not as they really are.
That said, this weekend’s Juneteenth is a celebration of the first official step in freeing those slaves. One hundred and sixty years later, we are still not done; institutional racism remains rampant, cloaked by the long shadow cast by our founders; but let us join our African American brothers and sisters, celebrate our progress—slow, agonizing, cruel and violent as it has been—and then devote ourselves to bringing light to the darkness and finishing the job.
POSTSCRIPT: BODHI BILL COUCH CONCERT 2.0
PERHAPS a celebration of a different sort. A seven song set of stories based on people I’ve known—or known about.
Couch concert details:
- Friday, June 26, 2020
- 7 pm PDT start
- Bodhi Bill Miller channel on YouTube.com
CAME DOWN with a sinus infection. Miserable. But, could be worse.
Got the meds I need. Got the time. I’m allowing this healing process to be an opportunity to recover on many levels. And like the rest of the world, reevaluate. As a consequence, this space will be going dark for awhile. Time to recalibrate.
Take care. Stay safe.
Celebrating 50 years with a few recycled blog postings.
WHAT A LONG, strange trip it’s been. So sang the Grateful Dead, appropriately. Strange indeed. Ten percent of America turned out for the first Earth Day in 1970, and the fossil fuel industry took notice, turned on them—and us—and so far continues to dominate their war on sustainable life, escalating the destruction of our planet for profit, while monopolizing the media to convince us resistance is futile. Just relax and enjoy your comforts in luxurious complacency. You’ve never had it so good. Stay the course.
Then, from out of nowhere, Covid-19 forced us to radically change our behavior across the globe, virtually overnight, proving we can if we choose. Next up, behavioral change for the impending climate crisis? Not seeing many volunteers for that. Curious irony there. While the coronavirus is a terrifying new disease that can assault victims mercilessly, it kills perhaps one percent of the people it infects. The climate crisis is on track to kill billions—half the global population or more in the coming decades—from indefensible super storms, droughts, fires and sea rise; societal collapse, global pestilence, disease and starvation; and savage wars for water, food and shelter. In the face of this presently inevitable outcome—an outcome that we still can change, will we? Why not? We can. We just did.
Imagine if ten percent of America—now some 37 million people—were to show up en masse once again in Washington, New York, Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities and towns across the country, all demanding climate action. We did it before. And we got it.
You are here.
SPECIFICALLY, in the upper right hand corner. And by you, of course I mean “we,” since we’re all captive on the same floating blue marble of a starship. This chart, a recycled blog post, is based on peer-reviewed science, not a conspiracy theory from some oil-soaked, talking sock puppet. If it doesn’t alarm you, I don’t know what will.
More than meets the eye.
THE L.A. SKYLINE has cleared dramatically since the coronavirus lockdown. It’s stunning. In New Delhi, people can see the Himalaya for the first time in decades. This is a spectacular reminder of what life is supposed to look like. And yet, this change is essentially meaningless if we expect it to remain without any effort on our part.
Worse still, what we don’t see is the CO2 lingering, way up in the stratosphere. It is invisible. And, it has not gone away. In fact, it will continue to ripen for decades before its full impact is felt. Clearing skies, while beautiful, can be deeply misleading. The real danger lurks beyond. Either we perceive it through science or we doom our future selves to a cataclysm of suffering beyond comprehension.
ANOTHER RECYCLED POST from a few weeks ago. We have profoundly changed our behavior in the face of Covid-19. We can profoundly change in the face of the climate crisis. If we choose. Maybe this post will help. If it does inspire you, please share with friends. Hope will not share itself. Nor will it be on the nightly news.
A marching song for action.
A FINAL RECYCLED POST, now offered as a Happy Earth Day rabble rousing fight song in support of 50 years of battle for sanity and life against a growing, darkly sinister assault on our socio-economic-political systems. The richest, most polluting, sociopathic and destructive industries on earth are not going to willingly release their vice grip on dominance and power. It’s up to me. And, it’s up to you. Or it’s not. Likewise, please share if this inspires you.
Earth Day has no meaning unless we act.
Thanks for all you do.