Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Twenty Five

In these troubled times we are seeking comfort wherever we can find it. So many of us have turned to baking and cooking and that is not a surprise. It grounds us, to work on something with our hands and see this collection of mere ingredients transmogrified into something unimaginable. What could be more satisfying.

In the spirit of the moment I thought I would share an ancient recipe that has been passed down through my family for generations. I am speaking of a recipe for biscuits, that hardy companion of soldiers and labourers. It is a nearly foolproof procedure. I say nearly because my grandfather made some that even the dog wouldn’t eat, though he was a notably peculiar animal.

Before I get to the recipe itself though, allow me a small digression on the nature of time. It is a strange concept, one that has troubled philosophers forever, and now that it seems we have only  time and absolutely nothing to fill it with, it weighs heavily upon my mind. How to grasp so elusive a concept that seems to transmogrify depending on the hour and the day.

Some cultures believe that time is a circle, a thing of rebirth, that one age dies so that another might be born. We in the Lost Quarter see time as a river, an unstoppable current, inevitably flowing forward. There is no turning it back. That is the sense we have, but there is nothing to say it is the truth. If we had been born at a time and place where we saw time as a cyclical thing perhaps that would be the feel of time we had, not this steady drip, drip of events that threatens to overwhelm. One can dream.

Who is to say what the truth of it is. There is something exhausting about the endlessness of these quarantined days though and I think it has to do with our need to feel as though time is marching on. That feeling has ceased though. The days seem still and unchanging, one following another, but without anything to distinguish them. Time has lost its shape and we are left with the sense that maybe it is nothing at all. A trick we play on ourselves.

But now I see that I have lost track of the day and will have to leave off writing to see to other chores. The recipe shall await another day.

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