Unprecedented Times

To start, at least, on the strictly personal, I hunkered down over the weekend. As we moved towards the predicted heatwave, which in San Francisco was not especially extreme, I alternated between time on my deck chair and lying on my bed. I had occasional glimmers of the idea that it would be nice to ride down to the beach, but the reality was that I had quite a headache and very little energy. I napped for four lunchtimes straight, which is pretty unprecedented, as well as sleeping eight hours just about every night. 

In some ways, since my symptoms weren’t so bad, it was nice to have an excuse to do very little. I still haven’t cleaned beyond the absolutely necessary. I have started some of my projects, and not got to others. I have noted my ebbs and flows of energy, and heeded them. There have been hours of football to watch – even if I drifted off during some games – and books to dip into. I walked on Monday evening and felt quite light-headed; on Thursday evening, much less so.

I tested every day; a couple of the tests that the government had sent me turned out to be defective, but I was positive (or unsure) from Friday until Thursday, even as I started feeling better. Having gone out to buy some more tests, the first of those turned out negative yesterday, and I will check again over the weekend before starting to return to doing things in person – I had to postpone the roam scheduled for Sunday, but I am still intending to give the talk at City Center on Wednedsay.

I had a little concern that – along with not getting myself back into good riding shape as I wished – I was not getting my bank accounts back in good shape after a month of not earning while I was traveling, and having had a number of unanticipate bike expenses as well. The wedding and other in-person events, apart from the pleasure of doing them, were things I was counting on to get money flowing in again. That said, I have started getting paid for other work I have done since I have been back, and, as I remembered very vividly as I went through some old posts on Patreon, my bank accounts are much healthier than they were in my first few years out of Zen Center, when I would sometimes have to sweat to make the next month’s rent, and was more than once saved by unexpected donations. I am also thankful that Charlie offered the week off when he heard I was still testing positive, and that I was eligible for sick pay for the two days I was missing, unlike all the other work I do.

And then, of course, I woke up on Thursday to news of the Queen being placed under medical supervision. Chatting with friends, it seemed clear that it was serious, and I was saddened, if not at all surprised, when her death was announced a few hours later. I found myself glued to the unfolding coverage from back home, and trying to wrap my head around the idea of there being a new monarch.

I would never have described myself as much of a royalist, but as is commonly expressed, that did not preclude a huge amount of respect for the Queen herself. I have not known anyone else on the throne, even as the royal family aged and died. Coming as it did just two days after the appointment – by royal approval – of a new, and somewhat disparaged Prime Minister, leading a much-criticised government through what was already a time of crisis, the sense of transitioning into a new era is very strong. I couldn’t say that I can express the range of my feelings – over time I am sure they will settle and become clearer. In the meantime, here are three articles that I enjoyed reading, from the Guardian, the New York Times, and the New Yorker, if you haven’t yet suffered a surfeit of coverage. 

When I awoke on Friday morning to discover that all the weekend’s football had been cancelled, I did wonder how on earth I was going to spend the time. I guess I shall have to start getting my talk into shape.


2 thoughts on “Unprecedented Times

  1. Shinto I am glad you are recovering My main symptoms on Nay was extreme fatigue. You, bring i. Better shape will bounce back k strong o think.

    Meanwhile the death of the Queen emphasizes time itself for me. It’s passing.

    So I think of what’s written on the Han:swiftly passing.

    We try not to “waste time.” Wondering exactly what that means and studying that question in our life.

    Warm wishes your way.

    Like

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