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Suddenly a jet engine thundered; and I looked up in a starry sky to see low overhead the bright-lit intricate underbelly of a massive military aircraft. It passed at an enormous rate of speed.


Things gather themselves into something more than unsettling. Cities are aflame – corridors of my city, Washington, are aflame, and a protest is scheduled tomorrow in Bethesda. Layers of surreality: the pandemic; the riots; the storming president.


When I, the other day, heard for the first time the phrase immunity passport, I thought, That’s what I’ve always had, and I still hold one now. The world does its chaotique, effrayant, thing, and UD sits way back here, amid the shady woods, fragrant flow’rs and crystal floods, taste, my soul, this charming seat, love and glory’s calm retreat, and now there’s a helicopter out there — I just stepped outside to watch it from the other deck — and it’s circling.


In front of me, as I stood on the decks, gleamed what I’ve come to call The Overdetermined Garden. Our new garden. We ordered up a bee, bird, and butterfly attractor, and boy has it been at it, all abuzz the live-long day… But it means too much to me; my work in it (and beyond it, in our established garden and woods and woody paths) has become too big a part of my buddha-noons, too much an act of belligerence against what is happening to the Isle of the Immune.

Of course no one who lives eight miles from Washington DC really thinks she’s immune. But there’s knowing and there’s realizing.

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4 Responses to “Woke up just now (2 AM) and stood for a moment on my chilly deck.”

  1. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    The end of ‘Heartbreak House.’

  2. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Ravi: ‘Fraid so. With the same privilege and heedlessness fully intact.

  3. Ravi Narasimhan Says:

    At least you have reached the Seventh Degree of Concentration.

  4. Margaret Soltan Says:

    Ravi: I wish.

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