On March 11, 2020, The WHO Director-General issued a media briefing in which the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a global pandemic.
I am releasing a new book today on the anniversary of when our world changed. Living Liminal: A Slice of Pandemic Life is a chronicle of 2020 and 2021. A compilation of blog posts, journal entries, and poetry, accompanied by statements, announcements, and ever-changing mandates put into place by our provincial government, the book presents the experience of an ordinary woman in an extraordinary time.
I vacillated between keeping this book private—a record for my grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and those who will come after them—and releasing it to the public. It’s personal, not professionally edited, raw, and real. But, as I say in the book’s introduction, “The picture we are left with when the world settles into whatever the After looks like should not be the one presented solely through the filter of the mainstream media. To understand the human cost these years demanded of us, we must consider the experience of ordinary people in the culture and context of the time. Living Liminal is my contribution to that story.”
And so, I am sharing the work. I am releasing it quietly, without the fanfare that usually accompanies a book birth-day, trusting that those who want to read it will and that it will accomplish the work intended.
Publisher: Benson Books
Paperback ? 307pages
ISBN-10 ? 0993730345
Back cover copy:
“I heard you say something, but I couldn’t make it out. It sounded like you said there’s a tiger in the backyard.”
I laugh because by now, it wouldn’t surprise me. A tiger? Sure. Why not?
Because a pandemic and a heat dome and drought and a province on fire and grasshoppers and apocalyptic skies and endless ash and charred pine needles falling aren’t enough. Let’s add a tiger to the mix. Nothing surprises me anymore.
In 2020, every person in every place in the world was shaken. British Columbians in Canada learned to live in the liminality of waiting for a semblance of normal life to return while weathering an unprecedented heat dome and fire season, followed by flooding and mudslides. By the summer of 2021, a tiger in the backyard seemed entirely plausible.
This book chronicles quotidian days, in times that were anything but. It contains the thoughts and experiences of a wife, mother, and grandmother navigating a world groaning under the weight of change through journal entries, poetry, blog and social media posts, interspersed with government directives to provide context. It offers a glimpse into one ordinary life during two extraordinary years.
When the world settles into whatever the After looks like, the story that’s told about these times should not only be told through the filter of the mainstream media. To understand the human cost these years demanded of us, we must consider the experience of ordinary people in the culture and context of the time. Living Liminal is my contribution to that story.