Silver Linings: On Keeping A Journal

Though published today in The Wirecutter in the New York Times, I wrote this piece last summer, long before Covid-19. Keeping a journal now however, observing, bearing witness, taking note of all this pandemic brings, is more important than ever. It’s urgent, actually. To quote from a writer I admire so tremendously, Valeria Luiselli, in an Associated Press article, “’I think it is my duty, and the duty of every writer, whether is a science-fiction writer, a journalist, a poet, each at their own pace and within their own capacities, to document this moment,’ she said.”

This is an “excerpt” from my journal, included in the above art. It’s a response to a Louise Bourgeois exhibit at MOMA from a few years ago. I had an apron from my grandmother that I had saved for years, but didn’t know what to do with. I cut it up and glued it to the page because Bourgeois used scraps of discarded clothe in her art. The Bourgeois work that inspired the response:

As always, Jenny McPhee whose most recent post, “Feathered Friends,” includes must watch tv, encourages me to find the silver linings.

Porgy and Bess

My husband and I were fortunate to see Porgy and Bess on Saturday night.  I still have chills from Audra McDonald‘s performance.  This Porgy and Bess is elemental, the tragedy of Bess is felt in a very personal way.  I physically ached for her, the way we ache for Anna Karenina or Lily Bart — women trapped by making bad choices in a supremely unforgiving world.  Though ultimately Joe Nocera isn’t a fan of this production, his Op-Ed in the New York Time’s was illuminating on the history of the opera and is a must read whether you see the production or not, like the production or not.  I recommend you see it.  In most of our lifetimes we won’t have this chance again, to be moved indelibly by the power Porgy and his Bess, Bess and her Porgy, by the power of their story and music.