These are dark days. Literally, as it was for Sonoma County and the SF Bay Area when we awoke to an oddly dim daylight resembling a post-apocalyptic doomscape. Amidst brutal heat, the very air we breathe has for weeks been choked by wildfire smoke that’s now traveled around the globe. Climate change is here for us all, with a vengeance.
This Autumnal Equinox – when the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are, as it seemed that day, nearly equal – comes in one of the strangest and most difficult years in memory. Covid-19 laying waste to the world’s populations, massive social unrest in response to historic injustice, and a dangerously divided citizenry. Yet fall has still arrived, showing up in some of its old reliable ways: leaves falling, shorter days, change in light, familiar constellations like Libra, Virgo…
This equinox has traditionally been the celebration of…
They were still using this process at the University of Nebraska in 1973, when I gave up my scholarship at Macalester College rather than complete my senior year; and stayed in Lincoln at what had been my summer job, editorial assistant for a grant-funded publisher.
One of my tasks was going to the typesetting shop to pick up silverprints for my boss to proof. I loved that place and I can still remember how it smelled. I would have liked to learn such a fine skill; and I regretted that typesetting had become redundant and was no longer viable as a career path for a young person.
I have been thinking quite a lot about that job during the Pandemic. My father had told me when I was 8 that if I wanted to be an artist, I’d have to learn to do something else for a living. I know now that’s not necessarily true. But at the time of my first real job, I was so happy that there was a dayjob that I could love, working in an editorial capacity for a boutique publishing company. And then I graduated from college exactly in the middle of the 1970s recession. The kind of company I wanted to work for disappeared because funding dried up.
It was my first major disappointment and during the Pandemic I’ve realized that I never got over it. The career that I wanted never happened because it couldn’t. I am sure there are many young people who’ve been thwarted on their paths because of Lockdown related cancellations and postponements. I think about that often and have felt vicarious heartache.
Ironically, excerpts of my “Covid journal,” including stills and writings, will be included in a Lincoln, Nebraska based digital age boutique publisher’s collection of writings about personal experiences during Lockdown. #COVID19 #Pandemic #goals #disappointment #sylviatoystlouis