Learning about COVID first-hand

Yesterday, I finally tested negative, after over a week of fatigue, then cold symptoms, and finally the loss of smell. At the end of April, I thought my intense fatigue was either caused by our two-week road trip down to southern Oregon and then on to the Bay Area or the doctor reducing my dosage of thyroxine, but it turned out to have another cause. For three days, the cold was accompanying by a somewhat comforting brain stupor (only remediated by binge-watching the last season of Frankie and Grace, followed by Inventing Anna). Once the symptoms dissipated I got tested, and went home to quarantine. My sense of smell only vanished during the last three days, but now the most pungent of my essential oils is clearly registering. What a relief.

People keep asking me if I know where I picked up the germ. It could have been anywhere. Our last restaurant meal during the road trip in Eugene or at an outdoor gathering, dancing in the woods. I spent most of the week before I came down with the illness alone in the studio or in the garden, but there were a few exceptions, and in recent months, I almost always walked unmasked in the hallways of my studio building. My masking indoors had become a bit sloppy…..sooooooo….this is how the virus arrives now. My husband is still testing positive, and he has hay fever and Stage 4 melanoma on top of everything, poor guy.

Now it’s time to get back in the studio after a long hiatus, and to welcome in the crowds this Saturday and 2 subsequent Saturdays as part of my farewell to the space.

MAY 15th

I had a great turnout and deep discussions with folks who joined me in the Merlino studio yesterday. I was exhausted afterwords, but grateful to share work and stories with those who came. I’ll be doing this again next Saturday, and the Saturday after that. In June I will pack up the studio and put much of it in storage in the basement. My new home studio in the renovated garage is complete (other than the floor surface), so I’ll be setting up there to begin a new chapter, slowly but surely this summer.

Marked Urgent: Making Art for Challenging Times

Well, it’s been five years since I posted anything in this blog. Guess that means it was a time where this kind of reflection was not a priority.

Now that I’m back to this realm, I want to use this space with more commitment to share thoughts, links, promote the work of others, and process what I’m working on, whether it be poems, essays, visual projects, performance works, or community art facilitations.