Covidian Rhapsody

I’ve been planting flowers lately

It’s all I can think of, to be of some use.

I’ve always done this around this time of year

I am not rushing to fill in the beds and containers

As I usually do.

This year, there is no urgency to get rid of winter,

uncertainty slows everything down.

The garden shovel entering the soil felt familiar

I dug out last year’s roots, and clumps

of soil, hard packed from months of being frozen solid


Something we hear a lot of these days goes something like

“well, it’s not just you, everyone is being affected the same”

it feels like a salve being applied to a wound, the comfort of

shared grief.

Then you go home, close the door to the day

And the wound flares up.

If you’re not in the game, then there’s nothing to get that concerned about,

free from the illusion of control.

Suspended animation the “temporary cessation of vital functions without


After two months of our restaurants being closed, we reopened into

harsh new reality.

we reopen, and those same vital functions of our businesses

are thrust into the environment with less than half the oxygen.

The body of the business begins living off reserves, depleting itself.

Yes, we are all in this same shared condition

But when the door to the house closes behind

The aloneness with pain cuts deep into the flesh,

The surface point where our physical body meets the outside world.


What is it inside the experience of isolation these days that is

unleashing so much


The earliest days of covid infused purpose into our lives.

Like an alien invasion, we are immediately confronted with an immense

force. We have no understanding except the larger presence which now

dominates our every moment has also provided much relief from all the

situations we avoided, the conversations we keep putting off and the

decisions which are too difficult to make.


I’ll be back in a few

Gonna sit and think…..

Write as if no one is going to read it

Originally the story I was writing had it all

A brutal mafia hitman who was 100% vegan

A raw food yogini, Jewish grandmother from Miami beach and a beautiful

German woman laying in a hammock on a mexican beach.

Whenever I have been asked “so, what kind of work do you do?”my

stock response has been,

“I’ve been serving carrot juice to the community for over forty years.”

Like the juice itself,

it reduces the story down to it’s essence

I was writing it, hired a coach and began over fifty chapters of content

Then it all stopped

It’s hard enough to try and understand what the story actually was that I

was writing. It all fell apart after we closed all of our locations when

Covid arrived. It was march 16th 2020

When I tried to continue the story without Viktor who I could no longer

afford, giving me direction and assignments weekly for 4 months, I found

what I was writing evaporated.

A global pandemic, laying off over a hundred staff,

closing all of our locations, changed everything.

I don’t even know what that means…

Yesterday, Uschi said that I have a “symbiotic relationship to the

restaurants”, inferring an unhealthy dependence which I had developed

over 45 years, towards the work I inherited from family and expanded

over my working lifetime.

Absolutely. It wasn’t a job, or work. It was my life.

Enter,” be careful what you wish for”.

In my mid fifties, I began inquiring within myself the desire to understand,

“who am I?”, if I don’t have the businesses that I’ve had been so

immersed in.

Well, in the spirit of reporting from the front lines of existential angst, I

have no fucking idea.

I’m empty.

It’s much too cliche and one thing I’ve learned is cliche’s kill everything

written around it.

Then I remember that asking “who am I?” is not really a very interesting

question, and any answer would self destruct immediately.

There has to be better questions than that.


Back to zero

I sit with my glasses resting low on the bridge of my nose.

Actually, not on the bridge.

That was just being lazy

They sit close to the tip of my nose

A posture I always had some story about when I saw others

doing the same. Snooty, arrogant, effete, something along those lines.

This writing spot I return to each morning looks out through a glass wall

towards the painful beauty of a mid spring day

This screen where these words live require me to look through my

glasses while the trees, ferns and dense woods outside need to be

viewed unassisted.

The proper placement of my glasses …….

Is there a point here, one worth what precious time is left in this existence?

Looking out at nature surrounding home, lies peace.

Except for the fox crouched low, waiting for just the right moment

to pounce.

The remnants from fall lay beneath the ferns sprouting through

The layers of composting maple and oak leaves feed the growth.

Who is it today that is speaking out here.

Father, some composite character,

a blend of all the great writing advice I’ve been reading

over the past months?

The soil inside lays ready

rich. unseen.

It’s not waiting for anything, it’s soil.

Made from desire, loss and beauty.

I am on my knees

Every other position does not hold

In the sunlight on the cement floor sits a ceramic vase.

Raku fired by a famous ceramicist.

I have loved it for decades

To the left sitting on a book shelf rests two ceramic pieces which I threw

my last semester of college. I was a sociology major.

Technically not well constructed, the lower walls and bottom too thick

shaped by hands which had yet to develop enough confidence to trust.

The glazes were random acts of trial and error

These bring tears

One brings uncontrollable laughter

I turned it over to see how I signed the bottom while the

clay was still fresh before firing.

Etched is “SOL 2012”. I made this in the spring of 1977

This was a joke I told my future self 43 years ago

I just got it.


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Rob Yaffe

Rob Yaffe

I was born into a family of subversives. Cause was everything. If not, what’s the point. For over fifty years I have been serving carrot juice to millions.