Ending these essays

On June 11th the state of Illinois will move to stage 5.

I received my second vaccination more than a month ago and life seems to be returning to what it was a year and a half ago.

Many states completely opened earlier of course, unconcerned about…

(Quarantine Essay #113)

In a sense, the pandemic is ending, but only in a sense. And only in some places.

Sitting with my friend Ron on the patio outside our local coffee shop, we noted the increasing number of people out and about. There was more traffic in the streets…

(Quarantine Essay #112)

Shel Silverstein

It’s less than one month since my birthday. I still like birthdays even as I have collected several dozen. I’m hoping for a couple dozen more.

Remember when you wanted to “be big”? Big meant old enough to do more than a three-year-old could do. A story my…

(Quarantine Essay #111)

Since the beginning of the pandemic, my circadian rhythms have been off-kilter. The circadian cycle (from the Latin circa and dei, around-the-day) is the 24-hour rhythm of our lives. Not just our lives, but those of many plants, animals, fungi, and some bacteria.

But this week, I’m thinking about another…

(Quarantine Essay #110)

This year, the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination falls on Easter Sunday.

One year before that day, King had come out publicly against the Vietnam War. He was on the verge of leading the Poor People’s March on Washington, DC. It has always seemed plausible and…

(Quarantine Essay #109)

I wrote this two years ago today. One year before the pandemic and three months after my stroke, March 30, 2019. It proved to me that my brain was still working, though several parts of the rest of my body were not. I’ve had to watch a lot more screens…

(Quarantine Essay #108)

Adam Zagajewski, 1945–2021

The poet Adam Zagajewski has died at age 75. (Read his New York Times obituary here).

I once took a semester-long poetry seminar with Adam at the University of Chicago. He was Polish in origin but in 1982 had gone into exile as a political dissident. …

(Quarantine Essay #107)

Six years ago this week, I was coming home from two months in California and the Pacific Northwest. There is a cartoon about Adam and Eve leaving the Garden, and Adam remarks, “We are entering an age of transition.” Those weeks were indeed transitional for me.

My mother had died…

(Quarantine Essay #106)

I am thinking about people who live their lives as if they were seed.

The Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos (1931–2020) wrote in 1978: “what didn’t you do to bury me / but you forgot that I was a seed.” (translated by Nicholas Kostis).

Young Mexican activists started a movement using…

(Quarantine Essay #105)

Step One in the Twelve Steps of Alcoholic Anonymous states: “1. We admitted … that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Our national problem may not be alcoholism, but there are addictive patterns in American life that make our lives “unmanageable”. It is common not to recognize or admit you have…

Ric Hudgens

Quarantine Essays. Subscribe to my newsletter at richudgens.substack.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store