Midnight on the Baltic, January 2020

Saturday night during a pandemic.

My thoughts return to the stars again because there’s nowhere to go on a Saturday night during a pandemic. Consider the word ecstasy in its strict sense, a Greek word that describes standing outside of one’s body. To be elsewhere. To escape the self. And once freed, where else would you go but toward the stars? Thus the painter and poet’s desire to capture a sensation that can only be described in terms of trees reaching for the sky and rivers pouring into oceans before joining the clouds.

Tonight I’m scrolling through the blurry photographs I took while trying to capture the moonlight over the Baltic Sea, where C. and I spent the first weeks of the year on a small Finnish island, practicing a very different kind of isolation. There’s a world of difference between solitude by choice versus loneliness by situation.

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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