Let’s talk about the moose

Welcome. I keep thinking about the moose with the band around his neck:

For more than two years, residents of Pine, a small town about 30 miles southwest of Denver, have been sending reports to Colorado Parks and Wildlife authorities when they saw a moose that had somehow pushed its head through a tire. .”

How did this happen? Maybe the tire was part of some sort of feeder, maybe it was a tire swing, Colorado conservationists said. On Saturday night, the moose was captured and sedated, its antlers shaved and the band removed. The moose “stood, unsteady at first, and wandered away in the dark.”

I try my best not to see the moose as a broad metaphor – two years under a yoke, two years with a collar, finally starting to roam, however unstable – but I keep sliding into it. As the poet Marie Howe once said, “It’s very hard to resist metaphors because you have to go through the thing itself, which for some reason hurts us.” She is right. It is difficult to look at almost two years of pandemic and describe exactly what has happened and is happening. To talk about the grief and loss and the hope without reaching for symbols, for similes that can give it all some meaning. The predicament of the moose (band on the neck) and the remediation (remove the band from the neck) are attractive in their simplicity. Real life, of course, is vast, abstract, unpredictable. It’s easier to say “We’re all the moose” than to consider the mind-boggling specifics of Covid, quarantine and beyond.

“Soul Train,” he explained, is his comfort food, his shortcut to joy. He plays the episodes in a constant loop on the screen closest to him. The first time we met in person, “Soul Train” played on both television screens of his tour bus; the last time we spoke on the phone, he had just come home from a trip and had turned the show on before he even took off his coat.

-By “The Passion of Questlove,” by Jazmine Hughes.

  • “Slack is where office culture is executed, codified and reinforced, often through an ever-evolving lingua franca of custom emoji, inside jokes and hyper-specific references,” writes Ellen Cushing, in the highly interesting “Slackers of the World, Unite!” , in the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Don’t miss ‘Nuclear Family’, Ry Russo-Young’s three-part documentary about her childhood and the custody battle that had a major impact on it.

  • If you’re looking for a non-fiction book to get lost in, I really enjoy Matthew Specktor’s “Always Crashing in the Same Car: On Art, Crisis, and Los Angeles, California”.

Send me your recommendations. What are you watching, reading, cooking or otherwise doing that you would recommend other readers to watch? Write to athome@nytimes.com. Be sure to include your full name and location so we can include your response in a future newsletter. We are home and away. We read every letter sent. As always, more great ideas to pass the time appear below. I’ll be back on Friday.

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