Snapshot in a Crisis, Day _ of _?

The morning frost has changed to dew, and now the green is bejewelled, decked out for another day. In my daughter’s Instagram story, a video of herself all dressed up in a floral gown and straw hat, with a table set for a tea party. Her stuffed green bunny sits by a tea cup. She pours the tea with the song “Mr. Sandman” for soundtrack, and then her big old cat Freddy pops up on a chair for his cup. The light from the soft filter makes his eyes sparkle. (I’m not crying, you’re crying). My girl’s eyes are still sparkling, a few days into this sudden shift into isolation, but she’s a social creature. How long will they be diamonds?

Me, I’m feeling healthy, although I think I’ve got Text Neck, which makes my throat muscles hurt a tiny bit, never mind the whole neck, which only heightens my awareness of every sensation that might be symptom. I used to be blasé about labels like Text Neck and Blue Thumbs, the panic that technology is causing our bodies to change. We are adaptable, by and large, although as an RMT I do see the effects of habitual behaviours. I am less ambivalent now, feeling firsthand the tension in my scalenes, splenii and suboccipitals that has risen with the rising use of my cell phone during this pandemic. (Fancy names for neck muscles.) (And yes, I disinfect that dang phone all the time).

Phones will be—already are—lifelines in this tumultuous time. I am grateful I can message and call my daughter and stepson, check in with family and friends near and far. Even near is far.

One silver lining: the earth is relieved to find us staying home. Italy’s environment—something I was about to diminish in my own small touristic way in May, for our first-ever trip there—is seeing improvements: clear canals, returning birds, fish and dolphins, cleaner air. Dolphins in Venice!

Everything beyond my patio door is bathed in mid-morning sunshine. On the floor inside, our new indoor-only cat Serena kneads her sheepskin rug, cackles at birds, watches every wing. Indefinite quarantine for her, against her instincts, but far better for everybody involved. Newest role model?

Luckily, so far, we can still go outdoors.

Stay well out there. xoxo

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