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  May 5th - my birthday -the far side of fifty... Today I reflect on another Cinco de Mayo birthday, after over a year of pandemic lockdown. What did I find by diving deep into isolation?  The disappointments were great. Canceled art and poetry events, canceled birthdays, canceled restaurant meetings, canceled holiday-after-holiday. Coping with change, loss, and grief. Remembering friends and relatives that did not make it to see 2021.  There were lots of things out of my control. I chose to be in a group that isolated, to protect myself and others, and to find out more about myself. Life did not go on as "normal" and will never go back to pre-pandemic "normal."   I'm also grateful. This last year has brought me many gifts:             Time to finish a couple of new books (Sestina Playbook and Atomic Paradise)             Teaching a Zoom sestina class (and Sestina Troubadours anthology)             Knowing my coworkers at Minneapolis-based Capella U be

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