My grandmother kept diaries through many years of her life as a pastor’s wife in the Great Depression era. The entries are mostly a record of everyday concerns, like how to feed a family of 6, with 4 boys, for a week on a little over a dollar. Mondays were laundry days, and Tuesdays were for polishing the furniture, etc. But reading them now provides a fascinating look into daily life during the Depression.
I read an article recently that recommended keeping a diary of your life in this pandemic, so that future generations can see what it was like to live through the COVID-19 era. I’ve wanted to do it but couldn’t get going. I live it all day every day, so I didn’t feel like writing about it, too. But thinking about my grandmother’s brief prosaic entries has made me realize that I don’t have to keep a journal of thoughts and reflections about what I’m living. A diary is different, just a record of activities, not deep insights.
So I’m going to get started here. There may be the occasional deep insight, but mostly I’ll stick to simple things.
9 July 2020
Yesterday hit me hard. We were supposed to get together with our Brooklyn family, the first time we’d have seen them in person for 4 months. But their COVID test results didn’t come in, so they didn’t want to risk infecting us. I wanted to say, “Fuck the coronavirus—I want to see you!” but the coronavirus isn’t something to fuck with. So we weren’t able to meet and hug and side-kiss. Instead it was just another day in the sameness of self-isolation.
This morning I had 2 lessons, and tonight I’ll have one. It’s the slow season since everyone’s had their GBC test now. We won’t see some of them until October, a month before their next GBC test. So I have lots of time to do other writing and editing work. Pros and cons to that—lessons can be draining, but so can writing all day! I get to write 2 Discussion articles a month now, which is great—I love writing them. I’ll do one today as a treat in an otherwise monotonous time.