Dear Reader,

By Jean Colonomos

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I honor the humming bird, this tiny, fast, exquisite avian that weighs as little as a penny, a symbol of irrepressible life. The Aztecs called them, “warriors of resurrection.” I remember when cousins Andy and Jay and often Karla began our masked and socially distant Saturday lunches on my deck. I remember dreading waking up to read the latest Trump Twitter rant as he and Republican Senators kept democracy on death row. I remember the Rudy Giuliani video promoting the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol to overthrow our government while black dye dribbled down his cheek. I remember talking every morning to my dear neighbor, Karla, to start my day on a good heart beat. I remember Senator Bernie Sanders saying, “The GOP is an anti-democratic cult” and thinking the Democrats should campaign on these words. I remember the giant, stark white trucks loaded with dead bodies from Covid-19 parked like hearses outside New York City’s hospitals as they were overrun with corpses. I remember German-Russian composer, Igor Levit, who on 5/31/21 tackled Erik Satie’s “Vexations,” a non-stop, 20-hour solo score of four lines to be repeated 840 times. His performance was dedicated to the plight of artists who couldn’t work during lockdown. I remember going to Dr. Chen for another antibody test she no longer recommended. She said even the best labs like LabCorp and Quest were getting many negative results. Then close to having had the test, the patient came down with COVID. I remember what Leslie asked, “What if fear is safe?” I remember #Say her Name: Breonna Taylor—Killed by police in her bed, March 13, 2020; Atatiana Jefferson—Killed by police, October 12, 2019; Dharleena Chavon Lyles—Killed by police June 18, 2017... I remember Dede’s email: Last Saturday, I decided to iron most of the day and listen to music. I don’t need that many ironed napkins, but it was soul-calming to know they are deeply pressed for the next dinner party of eight. (never!)” I remember LM saying, “It cost 2.8 billion dollars to develop a new drug. The rate of approval is less than 12%.” I remember the only idea that made sense to me, though pundits didn’t dare to declare that America is locked in a Civil War. I remember my daughter coming to California, this state leading the country in COVID-19 cases and I thought about consulting the I Ching but put it off til the next day, maybe. I remember when the news reported CA’s pollution was 30% less and the delight it was to drive on normally crowded roads now empty. I remember lifelong friend, Sheila, and co-owner of Ashland’s Bloomsbury Books sharing this: “Our best selling book today was, “WHITE FRAGILITY, Why it’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism.” I remember days of loneliness when writing this diary offered order and solace. I remember my dear friend Etsu remarking, “We have time to go deeper into ourselves.” I remember when in 2020 in CA, there were more than 9,000 fires that burned almost 5 million acres. I remember FUN face timing with my grandkids, laughing and playing Yatzee, Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. I remember shaking each of my 3 homeopathic bottles 33 times to bring life to their liquids and connecting the number of shakes to Jewish folklore which says there are 33 angels roaming the world and no one knows who they are. I remember being impatient waiting for Car Max to offer a price for my used car when Maddie, my granddaughter, piped up on my iPhone, “Nana, while you’re waiting, everything is possible.” I remember feeling numb on days when the horrors of democracy’s destruction of was too much. I remember how every emotion was right on the surface and how open I was about sharing these feelings with my family and friends; it was soul calming to talk about what many were struggling with. I remember the pull to start a diary but I didn’t know it would grow to include politics, poetry, science, contributions from family and friends near, far and across the pond. It soothed my isolated, one-person world. I remember when I put on my new Japanese blue socks with black roses on the instep and cherry roses on the ankle and felt elegant, and ready to walk back and forth on my deck. I remember when Flavia agreed to print snippets from my diary that moves me to thank her for her support. I remember holding Sarah’s hand when I had a cystoscopy and was tearfully happy that my daughter was with me. I remember sky-watching the Great Conjunction (December, 2020), this miracle of Jupiter and Saturn coming closer together for the first time in 400 years, the time of the Renaissance, signaling the coming of social change and humanitarian efforts for a more just society. n Editor’s Correction: In the June 25, 2021 issue of The Canyon Chronicle, we neglected to identify the child in the photo of the exuberant child running to meet the ocean in Jean Colonomos’ “COVID-19 Diary.” That is Jean’s granddaughter, Izzy Rassey and the photographer was her mother, Sarah Rassey. Eve’s lineage carries forward.

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August 20, 2021

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