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  • Allie

Twilight in a Time of Covid

I don’t know about you, but the coronavirus has me feeling glum. The Safer-At-Home policy in California forces me to act like a depressed person, staying inside, only dragging myself out in public for necessities, with far less social contact than is typical.

I noticed one of my favorite podcasts, Hot and Bothered by Vanessa Zoltan, had new episodes. The first season of this podcast followed Vanessa and her friends as they wrote romance novellas as a spiritual practice. Vanessa is an atheist humanist chaplain, which I find fascinating. Despite my Christian upbringing, I love that Vanessa expands my perspective on what is spiritual and what that looks like for someone whose spiritual practice is not centered on a God of any kind.

The title of these new Hot and Bothered episodes all began with the same three words: “Twilight in Quarantine.” Is this what I think it is? I thought to myself as I pressed play. Indeed, here was chapter-by-chapter commentary of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. Inspired, I checked out Twilight on audiobook from the library. At first I alternated a chapter of Twilight with an episode of the podcast. I quickly flew past the episodes to continue reading, crocheting while I listened. It felt totally indulgent, but it made me happy, so I leaned in.

Often it’s right to do hard things, like wait in line for an hour to get into the grocery store, and hope that what’s on my list is still in stock. Or run Zoom meeting after Zoom meeting, smiling and cheerful, even when it feels draining. Or revise someone’s work over and over, only communicating over email, feeling tense and angry but knowing if only we could talk in person there would be no vitriol. And I know these are small challenges compared to the true hardship some people are experiencing—unable to work, being very sick, dying.

Sometimes, especially at times when there is so much sorrow and fear atop myriad frustrations building up day by day, it’s right to do the joyful thing, like listening to an old favorite on audiobook, getting comfy in my apartment-turned-bunker, and crocheting a fun project.

Here’s a picture of the project: a miniature blanket for my plush cats, Ava and Theo. Yes, I made their hoody-vests, and yes, I fashioned backpacks for them too. (Unfortunately no pets are allowed in this bunker, landlord’s orders.) The blanket is a design called Sacred Space (how fitting) by Helen Shrimpton. It’s free and can be found on ravelry.com.

I finished New Moon last night and started Eclipse this morning. I have a busy day ahead of me, but maybe I’ll have an hour or two tonight to dedicate to my happy things. I hope the same for you—that in the midst of all the covid strife, you have pockets of joy in which you can envelope yourself that give you comfort and hope.



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