|March 25, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
So, how are y'all doing in these strange times?
Please excuse my "Okie" accent slipping into this letter, but even though I've not called Oklahoma my home for more than 35 years, I'm still a fourth generation Oklahoman, and my drawl creeps in when I'm tired, drunk, or stressed.
And guess what? Once the full-fledged assault of social distancing set in, I've been tired, drunk or stressed most days to the point of incapacitation. I'm easily distracted, my brain feels like mush, and even putting more than two words together to form a complete sentence is taxing. (Case in point: I've been working on this newsletter for almost 3 1/2 hours with only this to show for it.) I know many folks are taking full advantage of our forced "down time" by learning a new language or organizing their digital photos (and hurrah if you are so blessed), but yesterday was the first day since March 15th that I didn't spend a significant portion of the day crying.
In a way, I feel like I'm in a world-wide humorless spoof of GROUNDHOG DAY. I wake to the same news every day--more people are sickened by Covid-19 and too many more die from it. Like our self-absorbed weatherman, Phil Connors, I'm cycling through the first four stages of grief--denial, anger, bargaining, depression--until only now coming to some kind of acceptance of this new reality.
I don't have any clarity about when we might reopen. #45 wants us to pack the churches on Easter Sunday. Medical professionals are less sure that makes sense, especially in light of the health crisis as it currently stands (much like my hips, our curve has not flattened!). Most of the events we had scheduled for April and May have been cancelled or postponed to some date in the unforeseeable future.
Please know that every day, many times throughout each day, Roger and I monitor the guidelines and directives provided by federal, state, and local officials, and we will reopen the Clinton as soon as we believe it is safe for you and our staff and volunteers to gather together. When that day comes, and it will come, we will have a joyous celebration of each other and all that the Clinton provides the community.
Many folks have wondered how we are faring during the shutdown. As Roger shared in the notice of our closing, we are prepared to cover our bills for a couple of months using our own savings or funds from a retirement account. Going without income past May, however, will not be feasible and, like many small businesses, we will need your help to stay afloat.
One way you can help us right now is to enjoy the documentary FANTASTIC FUNGI: The Magic Beneath Us from the comfort of your own home. Tomorrow, you also have the opportunity to attend a virtual Q&A with the filmmakers.
If you rent or buy the movie from this link, the Clinton Street Theater will receive 50% of the proceeds, and if 1,500 of you to do this, we've covered our operating expenses for most of a month.
Until we can meet face to face, please write and let me know how you are doing. If you have something you would like to share with the community, send it along.
This video link was in an email this morning:
Even when I am at my lowest, I am sending you light. And because sometimes I am at my lowest, I need you to send me light, too.
HYMN TO TIME
-- Ursula K. Le Guin
Time says “Let there be”
every moment and instantly
there is space and the radiance
of each bright galaxy.
And eyes beholding radiance.
And the gnats’ flickering dance.
And the seas’ expanse.
And death, and chance.
Time makes room
for going and coming home
and in time’s womb
begins all ending.
Time is being and being
time, it is all one thing,
the shining, the seeing,
the dark abounding.
WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
Fantastic Fungi - Clinton Street Theater
Directed by Louie Schwartzberg
Fantastic Fungi is a vivid journey into the mysterious subterranean world of mycelium and its fruit— the mushroom. A story that begins 3.5 billion years ago, fungi makes the soil that supports life, connecting vast systems of roots from plants and trees all over the planet, like an underground Internet.
Through the eyes of renowned mycologist Paul Stamets, professor of forest ecology Suzanne Simard, best selling author Michael Pollan, food naturalist Eugenia Bone and others, we experience the power, beauty and complexity of the fungi kingdom.
The film is a blueprint for what connects all humanity and the natural world. There is much to learn from the world of mycelium and Fantastic Fungi is an inspiring place to begin the process of bringing us together as interconnected creators of our world.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON MARCH 26!
REGISTER FOR A LIVE Q&A WITH LOUIE & PAUL!
From the beginning, the filmmakers wanted Fantastic Fungi film to serve as a catalyst for connection, community, support. World events might make us pivot and adjust, but they are as eager as ever to connect with you on Fantastic Fungi Day, March 26th! Click and register for your time preference.
First Q&A – 1:00 pm PST/ 8:00 pm London Time/ 9:00 pm Paris Time
Second Q&A – 6:00 pm PST/9:00 pm EST/8:00 pm CST
Third Q&A – 9:00 pm PST/10:00 pm MST
???? Lots of good stuff!!!! Just as soon as we can open up and gather together again!
We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else.
— Elie Wiesel
Don't be a stranger. Write until we can meet again.