Erin's Journals

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Just a thought… I tell my students there is such a thing as ‘writer’s block,’ and they should respect it. It’s blocked because it ought to be blocked, because you haven’t got it right now. [Toni Morrison]

As always, you can watch a video version of this journal on my Facebook page, or here on YouTube.

Well, thank you for understanding that I took yesterday off – really it was just a matter of writer’s (or talker’s) block. I mean, what is there to say about Covid that hasn’t been said millions of times now in the past year? One step forward, three steps back, rinse and repeat. Just when we think we might be seeing glimpses of hope and even the opportunity to start making plans, this B 117 variant is rearing its ugly head. We were warned, we were told this was coming.

So here’s a perspective I didn’t expect to hear: last week I had a phone chat with my dad’s gal pal, a woman who’s 91 years old, who was lamenting that her son can’t come and visit or take her for appointments and so on because he hasn’t yet gotten his vaccination. And she said to me, “I don’t know why they’re wasting them on us folks, when the people with productive lives aren’t getting them.”

Now I don’t usually argue with her – I try not to argue with anyone except Rob or my sisters – but I said it’s because they’re the foundations of our society, our elders, our treasured ancestors who got us here. To which she responded, with humour, “Well, I’m not sure we want to take responsibility for that!” And I laughed – we both did – as we saw each other’s side in the conversation and just how impossible it all is. Especially for folks who just can’t get out.

Rob and I? We’re coping. We’re fortunate to be in a situation where we are able to see our loved ones. And…I said I wasn’t going to talk about Covid.

So what else about that writer’s block…? I won’t talk politics here – well, not Canadian politics anyway – unless it’s positive. And when does that happen? The way I see it, why risk alienating readers if you and I don’t agree? I mean, when I talked about US politics, that was different. I really didn’t care if people who supported you-know-who were mad; they’re not people I see eye-to-eye with anyway. So maybe they found someone who agreed with them…and that’s okay.

Do you find yourself watching a lot less US news these days? I know I do and frankly it’s a big relief. The CNN logo is no longer emblazoned on my TV screen and I rarely even watch late night talk shows. When another mass shooting is a sign that life in the US is getting back to “normal” I haven’t got time for the pain until they fix a system that’s horribly broken.

I don’t care to watch jokes about Joe Biden’s age or whatever else they’re trying hard to be topical about, so we just stay in our groove of watching local news on the PVR, catching up with the day’s ancient Law & Order episodes and occasionally treating ourselves to a really good show like the new HBO documentary just released Saturday about Tina Turner.

Now there’s a survivor. Like its subject, the documentary is incredible – inspiring, infuriating, sad and exhilarating all at the same time – and with some killer singing and dancing thrown in, too. What a powerhouse, that Miss Tina Turner! She’s 81 and not in great health now, but the documentary is one that I really do recommend and it’s described as sort of her “thank-you and good-bye” to fans. Simply called Tina, you can see it on Crave if you get it, here in Canada.

So, there you have it – what’s been going on here is that I’ve just wondered what to say. I mean, you hear about Colin and you know what’s happening our lives. There’s so much more behind the scenes that I’m working on that I’ll be able to tell you about soon, but it’s keeping me busy. Oh, and then there’s the diving into boxes and my radio past, as I was forced to do on the weekend. But I’ll tell you about that on Thursday.

Take good care and, as always, thank you. For understanding and for just being here.

Rob WhiteheadTuesday, March 30, 2021