A pair of heat domes have straddled the nation, and I imagine them as two great translucent, shimmering beasts. One has settled over the Pacific Northwest; the other is anchored over the Eastern Seaboard. This afternoon C. and I drew down the shades and fired up our feeble air conditioner. We listened to it wheeze and sputter while we made the final tweaks and edits to our book about our Light the Barricades installation. We started this book six months ago in a ferry house on an island in the Baltic Sea, a few weeks before the world changed. Some of the responses we collected from visitors last year have a new resonance: Our national conscience is being stripped bare. Others haven’t aged well: I’m hopeful because it’s almost 2020.

Why does the last ten percent of a project feel so impossible? Is the fear of completion a logical condition or just a glitch in my brain? Finishing a project means closing doors, killing darlings, and foreclosing possibilities. This can be rough work, but it’s not nearly as exhausting as dragging unfinished work around day after day until it leaves you haunted. Why haven’t I learned this lesson yet? It might explain why I’ve been rewriting the same novel for five years.

But the moral is that we’ve decided to invest in a clothbound cover with a foil stamp, and that’s something to look forward to.


Björk – Cover Me (Plaid Mix)

Hyperballad EP | One Little Indian, 1996
Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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