I woke before dawn on Christmas like a little kid, pop-eyed with excitement because C. and I were exchanging presents, something we haven’t done in years. But first, I spent an hour in silence watching the fresh snow whip below the streetlights. I sat before the glow of our artificial tree with its fake pine perfume and savored this peculiar ritual of wrapping up packages of socks and tea. It was a moment of grace and cheer in a year that has felt like living in somebody’s bad dream, and I know I’m damned lucky to have it. Remember this, I thought, because it won’t always be this way. And it’s an odd sensation to get caught between wanting to be entirely present for a rare moment while also trying to commit every detail to memory. I heard C. padding down the hallway. “I can hear you waiting,” she said.

Arvo Pärt – Memento

Ode VII from Kanon Pokajanen, 1994 | More
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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