Pandemic Diary 22: Earth Day in Quarantine

Season’s transition on Earth Day in upstate New York and Cape Cod.

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Out of the small details one can become reacquainted with the larger picture. We only notice the details when we give the details attention, and attention only comes if we allow time to not matter.

Time has opened up in quarantine, for almost everyone—except essential employees—at the same time and thus it has lost a bit of its potency. (I still feel in a rush; I do not know if I would feel this if I lived alone or not. Decades of personal experience of life in a rush cannot be undone in a month of quarantine. That said, I have twice misidentified the day of the week this month and even missed an online appointment.)

There is an echo of a sense of needing to be somewhere, a muscle memory of a life spent awaiting the next thing. There are at least two men in my town whom I only know as walkers, not pedestrians: I have not yet seen either one in the act of being someplace to which he had been en route. Each man is always en route, always on his way without ever arriving. (Pedestrians arrive.) Neither man strolls, each one walks with purpose, one man carries a backpack, a back and forth on our Main Street here that is rarely interrupted by the event of arrival or departure. There is no next thing in a life spent in a perpetual search for the next thing or a mindless avoidance of the current moment.
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Pandemic Diary 15: A Rainy Day

Quarantine considerations: Outdoors or in?

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A 1964 article in Nature with the euphonious title, “Nature of argillaceous odour,” gave the world the euphonious-sounding word, “petrichor.” In the article, two chemical researchers attempted to scientifically break down what it is we smell when we smell the world after a rain shower and to give the phenomenon a name.

The two authors coined the word, “petrichor,” which I have been mispronouncing in my head since I first encountered it in 2015, when an article on the Huffington Post started to make its social media rounds. It has a long “I,” so say it like this: “petra,” then “eye-core,” which is not how I hear it in my head, with a short “i.”
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A Storm Named Stella

Here in Orange County, New York, a blizzard named Stella has us under a “Severe Alert.” A red banner scrolls across my weather app—which is one way the information that Winter Storm Stella has dropped snow on us for the last several hours and will continue for another fourteen hours or so. The other way I can learn that the storm is throwing two to four inches of snow per hour is found when I look out my windows.

I prefer the first method. The red banner is less scary.
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Deep Underground

The lightest of rain after the driest of spells leads to the most argillaceous petrichor, which is the kind that humans smell as relief, the thought that things will start growing again.

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A 1964 article in Nature with the euphonious title, “Nature of argillaceous odour,” gave the world the not-as euphonious-sounding word, “petrichor.” In it, two researchers attempted to scientifically describe what it is we smell when we smell the world after a rain shower and to give it a name.

The two authors coined the word, “petrichor,” which I have been mispronouncing in my head since I first encountered it last year, when an article on the Huffington Post started making its social media rounds. It has a long “I,” so say it like this: “petra,” then “eye-core,” which is not how I hear it in my head, with a short “i.”
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Rain, Rain

A 1964 article in Nature with the euphonious title, “Nature of argillaceous odour,” gave the world the not-as euphonious-sounding word, “petrichor.” In it, two researchers attempted to scientifically describe what it is we smell when we smell the world after a rain shower and to give it a name.

The two authors coined the word, “petrichor,” which I have been mispronouncing in my head since I first encountered it last year, when an article on the Huffington Post started making its social media rounds. It has a long “I,” so say it like this: “petra,” then “eye-core,” which is not how I hear it in my head, with a short “i.”
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Petrichor

An article with the euphonious title, “Nature of argillaceous odour,” gave the world the not-as euphonious-sounding word, “petrichor.” In it, two researchers attempted to scientifically describe what it is we smell when we smell the world after a rain shower and to give it a name.

The two authors coined the word, “petrichor,” which I have been mispronouncing in my head since I first encountered it last week, when an article on the Huffington Post started making its social media rounds. It has a long “I,” so say it like this: “petra,” then “eye-core,” and not how I hear it in my head, with a short “i.”
Read More