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PostMiasma, Ennui, and Hope: David A Westbrook in "Medium" (David A. Westbrook, USA, 08/25/20 3:07 pm)
I hope this finds each of you and yours well.
I lived this in one day, and wrote it the next, as an expression, an exploration, and a test. A mental fresco, and a snapshot.
This is a very strange text, and you'll be unsurprised to learn I have lots to say on what has emerged. For now, however, this is at least an open letter about courage, and is meant to be encouraging as we head into the fall, especially for the many of you who are going back into the classroom.
"Miasma, Ennui and Hope (Food Drink and Music Included)"
If you have for some reason reached your Medium limit and want to read it, let me know and I'll get you the file.
JE comments: Bert, this is a most timely essay for Back to School. I returned to the trenches yesterday for the first time in six months. "Trenches" is the most apt term, as we all report to the front in (gas) masks. Your central metaphor, the "miasma," is also eerily appropriate, as we swim through a stew of coronavirus and the conflagration in the Western US. Do we know what we are cowering from? The miasma? Were the 19th-century authorities on "unhealthy fog" and the like so far off base?
Your reflections are also brutally honest. For those of us who are relatively privileged, yet who still have mortgages and 401k's to fret about, can we afford to express too much outrage? It's easier to shelter in place, both literally and intellectually, and enjoy a delicious meal. It's 6:30 PM, and yours has made me hungry.