by 2020 Creative Nonfiction contributor Virginia Watts (Ginny Pina)
Living during this pandemic as a writer has been “weird,” a silly little word I have liked since I was seven or so. I didn’t want to write about the experience. I thought, "Every writer is writing about it. We’ll all sound the same."
Then I did write about it in “The Mouth on the Mountain” (Bacopa Literary Review 2020). I couldn’t shake the feeling that I have been here before.
During the stay-at-home months,
Suddenly, our world has taken on a Hopperesque appearance. Familiar, but emptied.
Those sweeping aerial views of the streets and alleyway of Philadelphia without people. On the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, where Rocky Balboa once raised his arms victorious in the early morning light, only pigeons and a piece of paper trash blowing by.
The experience brought me back to riding through the mountain tunnels of Pennsylvania in the back of my parents’ car.
Like a sudden vacuum seal, the plop of a bell jar over an African violet, entering a tunnel stamped out a sunny day, stopped falling snow, vanished rain drumming on the car roof.
It felt very much like our world had been slipped right out from under our feet. Places we could no longer go to. Friends and family we could no longer see. Dreams we were not sure we should continue dreaming.
But just like the trust one takes in construction of a way to travel safely through the heart of a mountain, this essay landed me in a place of confidence and hope.
Even though this is not a place you are used to, you must take this journey. There is no other way to go. Trust the tunnel. Keep looking for the light.
Read "The Mouth on the Mountain"
in Bacopa Literary Review 2020,
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Virginia Watts is the author of poetry and stories found in Illuminations, The Florida Review, The Blue Mountain Review, The Moon City Review, Permafrost Magazine, Palooka Magazine, Streetlight Magazine, Sky Island Journal among others. Winner of the 2019 Florida Review Meek Award in nonfiction and nominee for Best of the Net Nonfiction 2019 and 2020, her poetry chapbooks “The Werewolves of Elk Creek” and “Shot Full of Holes” are upcoming for publication by The Moonstone Press.