7 December, VIRUS 2020
‘Devastating’ More than 61,000 koalas among 3 billion animals affected by bushfire crisis: A new report says 143 million mammals were affected in the 2019-20 blazes, one of the ‘worst wildlife disasters in modern history’. The Guardian
The sun should be up by now, humans are waking,
the gecko I tried to catch has circled behind me.
I drive early to photograph a house on the market
friends are interested in. House prices are rising
rapidly despite the pandemic. I meet the river,
focus on the back of a Masked Lapwing,
clearly see the modulated markings
A Pied Stilt is a compass walking off geometry.
The old footbridge loved by all has numbered, days,
concrete and steel are coming, all about costs.
A two-tailed roo in the garden and a Green Tree Frog
basking in the green light of a Crinum Lilly leaf.
In my busy inbox, Emergence looms, with Michael McCarthy saying:
‘You could reasonably say it was with the invention of farming twelve thousand years ago that we began to separate ourselves from the natural world. Previously we had been an integral part of it: as hunter-gatherers we were wildlife, we were animals, like all the other animals around us . . . The rhythms and sounds and smells of nature were the only ones we knew; our delights were the delights of nature . . . and now towns and cities hold more than four billion people, where we are so far separated from the natural world that nature is not only forgotten but increasingly invisible.’[i]
Art has multiple deficits: size, expense, capacity,
but this prolific red has reached an archaic consensus,
what other colour would you want to furl the beginning
of so many hours still to come? A flaming river, strings
of soft sculpture, Mammatus marvels pressure the eyeball,
a sensational collage, the formal properties unstable,
cloud species inviting a revolving attention, hauling you
into a private space, even with a lover present,
ephemeral maybe, a resurgence of admissions – everything is . . .
I write to the Extra Care Village Headquarters:
‘They could die of loneliness’: how Covid policies impact care homes. UK care homes restrict visits to protect elderly residents from coronavirus but families find certain measures excessive.’ The Guardian.
My mother is 94 and living in one of your care villages. She is getting very depressed by this second lockdown. I realise the situation is difficult, but you have a duty of care – people can and will die of loneliness. I live in Australia and have been unable to visit her this year. (I do every year).
Please think outside the box as to how managers in each village and their staff can ease the burden of loneliness people are experiencing, especially those living on their own.
Thanking you for your attention to this urgent matter.
[i] Michael McCarthy, ‘The Coronavirus Pandemic and the Invisibility of Nature’, 7.12.2020. https://emergencemagazine.org/essay/the-consolation-of-nature/