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‘The Things They Did Not Change’


On this bright new day, you open your curtains to the woods or the ocean or the field. You brew your morning drink and breathe. On this bright new day, you read from your book and then you read from the news. You share this news, letting everyone know your thoughts on the matters. You make breakfast, then you get outside in your leggings and rubber boots. You work in your garden or on your tractor. You buck up wood. You walk yourdog, or you walk alone through the wilderness, perhaps passing one or two faces but only with a slight nod or brief hello before moving along. You head back home. You paint or play music or sculpt and you make lunch and you read and you share the news, spreading either positivity, shame, or your day’s events. You create lists of things you can do and you squabble with your partner, or squabble with your inner demons because you are alone and isolated. You do some of your work remotely, you feed the animals, and then you set to making dinner. You notice you’re running low on salt and wine and bananas and wonder if you should go get some more or wait until your list warrants a trip. You call your mom or your daughter. She is okay. She is worried about you. Worried about your financial situation and mental health and physical health. Or you are worried about her. Her financial situation and mental health and physical health. You clean up after dinner and wonder what it would be like to have kids or to not have kids, or to have grandkids or to not have grandkids. You have a glass of wine or a whiskey. Perhaps in the yard where the trees are thick, or where the ocean spreads across the land like quarantine. A safe distance from all. You are thankful for this life that is so close to the earth. This life that is creative and intentional. This life that requires more work but gives so much back in return. It is 9pm on a Friday: a world’s midnight. It is time to turn in. You tuck in next to dog or partner or Netflix or book or nothing, looking forward to the morning’s coffee soon to come.

And in this tucking in, never knowing that there is an apocalypse outside your window, for these are these are the things you did not change.

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FOLKLIFE is looking for words from Gulf Islanders on the things that you are not changing during these troubled times. One word, a sentence, five sentences, a quote. How is this crisis NOT affecting your life? With deep appreciation in advance. <3


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