Welcome to Dystopia

Can I be honest, guys? There are moments I don’t recognize my life anymore. I don’t mean moments where I think, “Huh, isn’t this different?” I mean moments of dissociation where I wonder if I’m living the right life, or if I somehow got body-swapped into some other, horrible place and time. Because the life that I’ve been plonked down into is both strangely familiar and terrifyingly foreign, and I don’t want to be a part of it.

We don’t live the same

We don’t live the same anymore. We measure time in cases and bodies — yesterday the world crossed over a million positive tests; tomorrow, we may see ten thousand dead in America. We stay up as late as we want and sleep when our restless minds allow. We wake when we feel, or if duty compels, we make an effort to work our way through the day. We don’t live the same anymore.

Rumors from the East

Soon, there was news of the disease cropping up everywhere: Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea — even the U.S. But I wasn’t alarmed. We could handle it. I was certain. Then everything changed.

The world changed

I read one historian urge people to write down their impressions of this remarkable time that we’re going through, so for now, I’m going to repurpose this blog. I’m not able to do my research and rewriting and editing anyhow, so I’ll keep up on how life has changed and how, I hope, we’ll get back to some sort of workable normal. And sometime soon, I hope to get back to what I was working on. Because if nothing else, if this damned disease does come calling for me, I’d really hate to leave without finishing this project.

Love means never having to say sorry … but accountability does

Elected officials in Amsterdam are considering issuing an apology to the people of Suriname for the actions and legacy of slavery. And that’s not an outlandish thing to ask for when you consider that the Dutch West India Co., the corporation that oversaw and ran the Suriname colony, wasn’t just based in Amsterdam, but funneled much of the wealth that powered that city’s Golden Age. What if the U.S. followed suit?

Everything’s turning up Rembrandt

“Portrait of a Young Woman” was painted in 1632. Rembrandt would have been about 26-years-old, and he would have just moved to Amsterdam the year before. He was still two years away from marrying Saskia, who would feature in so many of his paintings. He still had so many great works and such a full life ahead of him at that point.