Monthly Archives: October 2020

Diary: El Caj√≥n de Grecia, October 3, 2020

It’s been a while since I posted anything. Nothing new keeps happening.

The pandemic continues to rage out of control in Costa Rica, averaging around 1,000 new cases daily. The population of the U.S. is about 65 times that of Costa Rica, which means that an equivalent rate of new infections in the States would be resulting in ~65,000 new cases a day.

But then, we’re talking about confirmed cases.Costa Rica seems to be pretty good about capturing new cases, given that almost everyone has access to free health care. In the States, who knows? Only a positive test results in a confirmed case, and who all is getting tested and under what circumstances?

And in Costa Rica, at least, the president is not sponsoring super spreader events.

Around home, our girl Bela this weekend is in the veterinary hospital in Heredia getting her right knee put back together. Every dog we’ve had has had to have knee surgery, our big lab Pinot twice.

Getting to Heredia on Thursday was quite the challenge. There’s a general strike going on in Costa Rica, and angry citizens were blockading all of the major roads and intersections. Leaving Grecia at 4:30 with our vet Marycruz driving, we didn’t manage to wind our way to Heredia – only 22 kilometers away – until almost 7:30. The vet hospital was closed, and the surgeon with whom we had an appointment was ready to give up and go home. But even though it was well past closing time, he took ex-rays and confirmed the diagnosis of a torn ACL. Surgery was scheduled for this morning, and Bela is now in recovery. She should be home Monday.

The general strike is in protest of the government’s proposal – made at the insistence of the U.S-dominated IMF – to raise taxes in exchange for IMF economic assistance. That’s right, raise taxes In the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of a resulting economic collapse, and with unemployment rate in excess 20%. How stupid, how heartless, can an agency be? At least in Costa Rica the people are not afraid to stand up and don’t have to fear the police. These kinds of protests are pretty common, and are taken in stride despite the inconvenience.

I’ve given up on the novel I was working on. I find that I just don’t enjoy writing prose, and so find excuses to do anything else rather than sit in front of the computer and work on a piece of fiction. I wrote a poem about the experience.

Freedom

Best part of a year
wasted
writing, prose
each day, struggle
sit at the desk
mind at wander
legs, fingers
itching to stretch.

Henry Miller, finding himself
unable to write
would swap pen for brush
phrases for paints
images flow
from child eyes
laugh and scamper
upon the paper
words drowned
in watercolors.

World out window
bids beyond the monitor
door wide open
to hillside studio
hands begloved
wield pruning shears
a Japanese hoe
sculpt a landscape.

A novel
aborted.

In requiem
the garden, for a moment
sublime
as a living thing can be
the poet freed
to sketch in hues
of forest and flower.