Strangely enough, my daily rhythms during our quarantine time—from “stay at home” to the more recent “safer at home”—have not been dramatically different from what they had been, before this all began.
For quite some time, my yoga/qigong practice has been a “home practice.” And, likewise, the majority of the freelance writing that I’ve recently been engaged with takes place in my home office … and this hasn’t changed.
I do miss teaching in-person yoga and qigong classes—something that I’ve done regularly for decades. It feels very strange and a bit sad not having those face-to-face interactions, at least a couple times a week.
I also miss having tea or lunch with friends at a local restaurant or café. Other than these things, I feel mostly comfortable being in retreat mode.
That said, there is a sense of having quite a bit of “extra time”—an opportunity to enjoy unstructured spacious being, or to engage in activities I might not otherwise choose to. In relation to the latter, here are some of my current quarantine favorites …
I’ve been reading quite a bit of Raymond Smullyan—a philosopher, mathematician, magician and concert pianist (quite the Renaissance Man) who has done for mathematical logic what Oliver Sacks has for neurology: namely, offering beautifully written treatises on complex topics, made accessible and enjoyable to the lay reader.
While Sacks has given us gems such as The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, Smullyan offers The Tao Is Silent along with a variety of titles having to do with Gödel’s incompleteness theorems and other topics in mathematical logic.
Perhaps it’s the magician in him, or the Taoist, that accounts for his light-hearted playfulness? In any case, very much enjoying getting to know him, in this way.
Currently on my nightstand:
- Wendell Berry, Collected Poems
- Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets
- T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
- Theodore Roethke, The Far Field
- Lucille Clifton, Blessing the Boats
- Rumi, Birdsong
What’s not to love about an animated Bruce-Lee-Meets-Lao-Tzu? And this is pretty much how the main character of Avatar: The Last Airbender is portrayed: as a childlike Taoist sage with superpowers.
If you enjoy playful animation, resonate with Eastern philosophy, and appreciate films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon—then chances are good you’ll like this too. I’m about halfway through the series and enjoying it greatly!
For years, my go-to ice cream has been Häagen-Dazs vanilla swiss almond. And it still is 🙂
However, I recently was at a grocery store that didn’t carry Häagen-Dazs. As my mind grumbled about this grievous omission, I allowed my eyes to survey the other options … and decided to give Talenti black-raspberry chocolate chip Gelato a try.
While I wouldn’t go as far as calling it a “new favorite,” let’s just say that it’s really really good!
Stay healthy and safe, everyone—and feel free to share your own quarantine favorites in the comments section below …