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That Thing with Feathers: Hope and Literature in a Time of Pandemic

Has your perception of time changed due to stay-at-home orders and pandemic-filled thoughts? In today’s That Thing with Feathers, THP author Rebecca Lawton tracks time based not on work meetings or social engagements, but on when she can expect to hear from her daughter, feverish in Seattle, and other COVID concerns.


Coming or Going

by Rebecca Lawton

Snow blows in horizontal streams. After a winter of little precip, it chooses today to fall, or flow sideways. Today we’re moving. In minutes Paul and I will drive out of the Great Basin in two Toyotas packed to their vinyl liners. Stuffed-to-the-top is a mode of traveling I’d hoped was behind me, belonging to the day when a river season would end, a dorm room would empty out, or an idea would strike that moving to Idaho or Utah or Pennsylvania would be the next great adventure.

Today we’re three weeks past the first US COVID death, near Seattle. We’re one day past the worst first-quarter decline in the 124-year history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. For eight weeks, Paul and I have been packing boxes. For eight weeks, I’ve been finishing final reports at work, making the last business calls, handing off contacts, keys, files.