Coronacast 2: MK

Today I talked to the radiant Mary-Kim Arnold, dearest friend, exceptional writer, brilliant artist, big thinker, compassionate and thoughtful human, and the person who eats doughnuts with me.

(Enthusiastic plug: Tomorrow happens to be the official release of Mary-Kim’s new poetry collection, The Fish and The Dove, which you absolutely should read.)

“Hope feels a little complicated,” said Mary-Kim, speaking for many of us.

Introducing: The Coronacast

As the world reels from a global pandemic, I’ve been touched and gratified by the many ways people are coping and connecting.

Whether it is singing from the balconies in Italy, weddings performed on the street in NYC, “Knock It Off” t-shirts in my beloved Rhode Island, #getmePPE, mutual aid networks, or the zoom call my family attempted last week, our humanity is showing.

(I, for one, hope it sticks around for awhile.)

This had me thinking: What can I do? Coronacast is my attempt to extend the connection. I am one of the few, I’m guessing, enjoying the proliferation of videoconferencing. It brings me joy and comfort to see dear faces and have real conversations. In this moment of crisis, when you ask a genuine question, people respond with honesty, generosity, humor, wisdom, and love. Perhaps COVID-19 gives us an excuse to be just a tiny bit vulnerable with each other.

So here’s the first in what I hope will be a (time-limited) series of short video calls with interesting people. It’s part oral history, part small talk, part coping strategy. Informal and amateur, it’s meant to reflect the moment we’re in.

Episode 1 is Phil Ayoub of Beau Tyler & the Sly Dog Co., entrepreneur, songwriter, musician, and my cousin. “And now, I make a pretty good cup of coffee.”