Splash Down

As a humanist and space enthusiast, my emotions are split over today’s headlines. America has solved the problem of being reliant on Russia for the transportation of their space cargo, but they still haven’t figured out how to increase the odds of customers being able to walk out of a Walmart alive.

On the afternoon of August 3, 2019, 20 people walked into an El Paseo Walmart and were shot. The shooting has been described as the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern American history.  Patrick Crusius, a 21-year-old also from Texas, was arrested soon after the shooting and later charged with capital murder.  The FBI claim evidence confirmed the shooter is a white supremacist, anti-immigrant, and declared the incident a hate crime and domestic terrorism.

2019 was a big year for mass shootings.  According to the Gun Violence Archive, there were more than 370 mass shootings in the US in 2019, with mass shooting defined as any incident in which four or more people, not including the shooter, were shot but not necessarily killed. That’s an average of about eight mass shootings a week.

We seem to be in an age where the world takes two steps forward, and on another front, travels five steps back.  Round and round it goes.  How wonderful it is when a group of minds is focused on a scientific endeavor. Reshaping the space industry in one move–the successful splashdown yesterday in the Gulf of Mexico!  WOW!  It should feel like a great victory for us all.  Yet there is a shadow hanging over it.  It is not unlike a child sitting behind the steering wheel of the family car pretending to drive, and the parent scolds, “You’re not old enough for this yet.”

A diagram of Crew Dragon’s return to Earth.SpaceX/Twitter, 2020
PERSONAL PANDEMIC UPDATE

On the home front, starting in August I’m returning to the office for 20 hours a week.  After working from home for SIX MONTHS I am quietly entering back into a semi-regular work week.  Whatcom County is expected to go to Phase 3 of the Washington State reopening plan this month.  If you think the lockdown was tough, get ready for the bridge era of returning to work before the vaccine!

Managing foot traffic and cleaning stations throughout a 3 story building is a challenge.  It took our reopening team 3-4 months to put together a detailed plan.   There will be new etiquettes for people working or entering a compartmentalized office building.  There are so many new areas to consider that go beyond the typical janitorial maintenance, such as air quality and airflow, surface protection, body temperature reading stations, instructions of what to do if a positive COVID individual is reported, etc. This is a different challenge than what restaurants or grocery stores are dealing with.  Honestly, it’s exhausting to think about.
Well, If Space X can go into orbit and return two astronauts safely, then I guess we can do this!  *takes a deep breath*  Here we go…

Have a good day-
SPL

 

 


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_El_Paso_shooting

https://www.inverse.com/innovation/spacex-falcon-9-stunning-images

https://www.vox.com/2019/11/18/20970841/duncan-oklahoma-walmart-shooting-gun-violence

Flexing Haircut 100

So, yesterday I caught myself flexing on the lady givin’ me a $25 haircut.  Afterward, I walked out of the place and while driving home, examined a strange, yet familiar, feeling like something was wrong…(I’m a bit slow about these things)  Then it hit me “OMG I was totally rude to the lady who cut my hair!”

“WHY?”  I screamed to the mountains!
“WHY?”  I yelled to the sea!

The selfie I sent my friend when she asked to see my hair cut, “–nah, its OK..”

During this serious shitstorm of a time in history WHY would I flex during a standard life interaction with another human?  Here is what happen…  We started to share how the lockdown had effect us and compared notes.  I basically bragged about how fortunate I was that BOTH my jobs were essential and how incredibly busy I’ve been.  Then I handed the talking stick to her and she blew my mind.  She is in her early 30s, newly married.  Found out she was pregnant in March. Lost her job in March.  She filed for unemployment.  Received about two months’ worth when it stopped with no notice.  She called in an inquiry, the state said she did not qualify for unemployment and would have to pay all of it back.  She protested their decision. This resulted in her having to defend herself in court.  She won. Now the judge has ordered that the unpaid 6 weeks of unemployment be sent to her asap, which hopefully will arrive by mid-July.

“I’m all stressed out with the baby, my job, stupid unemployment being all messed up, and this virus thing. It’s horrible.”

Now, hourly pay at Supercuts Hair Salon ranges from an average of $8.10 to $13.36 an hour.  Let’s say she worked 28 hours a week because those cheap-ass companies don’t want to pay their workers health care so they keep them under 36 hours.  …and let’s guess she is making about $11.00 an hour, that’s $1848 gross, with 10% taken out for taxes that’s a check for $1664.  That is some hard-earned cash!  (BTW, this is the third time a person has shared a similar story with me about their unemployment payments being denied.  WTH Washington?) The only saving grace for the haircutter was that her husband’s job is considered essential and he has worked through the whole lockdown, keeping them barely housed and fed.

So here I was getting my haircut for the first time since November 2019, waltzing into Supercuts thinking I am a boss. Sons of the bitch!  This was rude.  I didn’t even think about how rude until my drive home.  Perhaps an evil side of my sub-conscious drove that whole event.  Perhaps I was forgetting when I was a new mom and we couldn’t freakin’ afford a gallon of milk!  I couldn’t buy new clothes for my kids.  We couldn’t even afford for me to go to work, in town–because we only had one car–and due to the cost of daycare!   I’ve been there.  Really I have.  Also, I’ve stood in the company with affluent upper-middle-class people who assume everyone in the room is like them. Going on and on about vacations, new cars, private yoga sessions, and seeing their doctor, one flex after the other.  Felt their words grind up against my reality.

Yes, I do feel like I’ll need a vacation after lockdown.  I’ll be honest.  But I must always use my words carefully.  I can’t control what others do, but I can control what the heck comes out of my mouth! Each home is having a different experience during this difficult time.  Please learn from my mess up.
Be kind to each other.

Day 74: Last Day of the Lockdown

“I have not been able to touch the destruction
within me.
But unless I learn to use
the difference between poetry and rhetoric
my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold
or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire
and one day I will take my teenaged plug
and connect it to the nearest socket
raping an 85 year old white woman
who is somebody’s mother
and as I best her senseless and set a torch to her bed
a greek chorus will be signing in 3/4 time
“Poor thing.  She never hurt a soul. What beats they are.”

-Power, Audre Lorde, American poet, 1934-92.

The end has come.  Whatcom County in Washington State entered Phase 2 today.  In town the neon “OPEN” signs are on.  Emotional yo-yo beat down.  Took two aspirin and laid flat atop the bed.  I’ve been laying down too much these months, yet I needed it again.  Everything around me demands it is essential that I get up.  A chirping bird outside my window gave a speech, my phone rang twice with instructions.  At 4:00 p.m. I listen to the news on my old clock radio, but the man sounded much like the bird in the bush–they won’t shut up.  Take a breath, give someone else a chance to speak, I think.

credit- https://mynorthwest.com/1906245/live-updates-seattle-bellevue-protests/, June 2, 2020

I’m feeling a bit skewed. Disjointed. Unconnected, but not in a way you’d expect after three months of quarantine.  You see, outside my window there is order. Inside my TV is a disorder. Walking my neighborhood are masked smiles and friendly nods. Online our nation is shouting and demanding justice.  I watch from my desk and in my mind, I am with them.  I’m at the fence of the White House demanding Trump resign.  In the fog of Netflix and binge-watching–are these riots real?  Is this a dark comedy out of control?  Can it be touched? I could run with the crowds, get an eyeful of pepper spray, just two hours south of me.  Seattle is sweeping up glass.  It is nearby if I want it.  Feeling thankful for the peacemakers if they are indeed real.  Please be real. Please succeed.

Twenty years from now if someone asked you what it was like to live during The Great Pandemic of 2020, what will you tell them?  The lockdown is over and I don’t have the words right now.  Please call again later, thank you.

My mood expressed by a meme.

 

Day 55: Aliens and Hospitals

Shower Thoughts:  It’s a compliment when family thinks of you as friends, and a compliment when friends think of you as family.

So there is one conspiracy theory that the global economic meltdown was designed to finally 1) introduce us to aliens and 2) allow aliens to help us publically.  I’ve had a good time imagining how the world governments will introduce the citizens of Earth to the aliens if this actually happens.  Personally, I think it will be hilarious, and launched with many flaws, OR it could be compared to the second coming of Christ.  Regardless, theatrics and excellent lighting will be involved.  As Dr. Who pointed out, a person can handle the truth, but people can’t.  My prediction is the mobs will divide up; possibly three main groups- aliens good, aliens bad, and the complacent who will not care either way, just don’t take my TV or my job. 

Save us, Space Jesus! Space Jesus is the feeling you get when you travel through a wormhole in a fresh pair of Jordans. https://www.spacejesusmusic.com/

Secret alien lore states there are at least six or seven different species visiting us on a regular basis. They are The Greys- two types one that is tall/thin 6-7 feet and another (possibly unrelated) is a shorter species 4-5 feet, the ones with the elongated heads and tall slender bodies, the beautiful blonde blue-eyed Nordic type, the reptilians, and the reptilian of the shape-shifting variety, the last one that I read of is like a praying mantis in appearance.  Some folks claim to know the planets and the names of the species mentioned, but those descriptions can vary from person to person.  I don’t want to assume anything.  I mean WHY insult the aliens with bad manners when we already insult them with our ignorance?

The word on the secret street is that some of these aliens are pro-human, others are not.  Some work with others to help us, others do not.  There is also a concept that some, possibly the Shadow People,  come from other dimensions, NOT planets.  The idea being humans bust down walls between dimensions every time we explode a nuclear bomb.  Interdimensional aliens slip through the cracks and they are pissed.  Frost’s statement about good fences makes good neighbors is possibly proven true once again.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see how the world recovers from this global economic failure.  For the record, I would like to put in my vote for “being saved by aliens”.  What a fun time to be alive!  Yes, SO much fun.

MEANWHILE…

On a completely different note, this week a news story caught my ear.  Hospitals in America are closing down.  Hospitals in small towns can’t afford to stay open.  Do you know why?  Because there is a halt on all non-essential surgeries, also the injured assume all the hospitals are full of COVID-19 patients and stay home.

It’s an ironic twist as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the nation: The very workers tasked with treating those afflicted with the virus are losing work in droves. Emergency room visits are down. Non-urgent surgical procedures have largely been put on hold. Health care spending fell 18% in the first three months of the year. And 1.4 million health care workers lost their jobs in April, a sharp increase from the 42,000 reported in March, according to the Labor Department. Nearly 135,000 of the April losses were in hospitals.

“The only people who are coming into the hospitals are COVID-19 patients and emergencies,” says American Hospital Association Executive Vice President Tom Nickels. “All of the so-called elective surgery, hips and knees and cardiac, etcetera, are no longer being done in most institutions around the country.”

What caught my attention is that the loss is at $50 billion expected to top out at $200 billion!  That’s a lot of lettuce.  America has the highest cost of medical expenses.  We are #1 in medical bankruptcies. It is difficult to have empathy for the hospitals, but I defiantly feel bad for the typically underpaid nurses losing their jobs.  It appears this is a good time in our history to switch from private to socialized medicine. Don’t forget, small towns are farms, farms are industry, industrial accidents are common, and to be airlifted to a city hospital is about $2-8,000 dollars billed to the patient!  But it won’t happen as long as the GOP is in charge.  F*ckers.  I would like to end with this thought: a broken leg is not a Democrat or a Republican.  It is something broken that needs to be fixed.

**

Here is my mood in a photo.  TIL that Dame Judi Dench embroiders while on movie sets waiting between scenes.  Below is a sample of her work.
Take care of yourself.  -Shannon.

 


Many Hospitals Are Struggling To Absorb Financial Losses From Non-Coronavirus Patients

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_alleged_extraterrestrial_beings

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/08/852435761/as-hospitals-lose-revenue-thousands-of-health-care-workers-face-furloughs-layoff

Judi Dench’s fantastic embroidery

Day 53: Thinking to Much

Shower Thoughts: If you were invisible, you’d be effectively blind since light would pass through your retina rather than striking it.

This morning I am writing from my bed-desk. I’m thinking about the parts of me that need a shower and weighing that against the effort to leave my warm bed.  The bedroom window is open a bit and the sounds of crows, seagulls, and chickadees, other spring birds, and that goddamn weed wacker play on random all morning.  How many weeds you gotta wack buddy?!  Landscapers in Bellingham are considered essential.  Go figure.

a pink crab-apple in full bloom

The crabapple tree outside the window has wilted. Old blooms still cling to the tree, waiting for the new fruit, developing below the surface, to push them off to the ground.

I heard on the radio this morning that nationally Americans spent less money on food in April than they did in March.  My grocery bills went up this last month because I’m shopping at smaller grocery stores; they have fewer products to help cover the cost for their property taxes, etc.  Are they grocery boutiques?  My cousin told me about a grocery store in the Chicago suburbs, where he use to live, that experimented with a carpeted grocery store.  It grossed everyone out, and you couldn’t navigate your shopping cart very well.  It was a fail.

path around the lake is wide

Friday is my day off.  Unless a “fire” happens with any of the properties or publications the day is mine.  Yep, all mine.

Traffic around town is almost at normal levels.  Many people, including myself, still drive distracted.  Forgetting to signal, not looking both ways, driving way to slow on the freeways.  It’s very strange or maybe it is normal now.

Decided last night to walk by the bay instead of my standard walk around the lake in the old-growth forest.  The park by the bay was packed!  I turned around and headed for another trail I know close by.  I’m just not ready to jump into a crowd yet, and that’s OK.  I’m not like my polar opposites that meet in groups for BBQ’s, house parties, and Capitol protests.  In other states, these folks carry guns in public to help illustrate their rights to assemble, get a haircut, and eat at the Applebees.  True Americans.  I wonder if they assemble because there are no “old” people in their lives?  Are there no friends around them that are “high risk” for the virus? Diabetics? Obese? Over 60-year-olds?  People recovering from cancer or other illness?  That must be it.  How nice of them to speak for us that do.

I look forward to this all being over.  I fear I will discover that my post-lockdown life is as similar to full pandemic mode.  Honestly, I FEEL the pandemic because it is everywhere.  It is a global event. This planet of peoples moan and wiggle like a two-year-old sitting through a piano recital.

IF the world were normal right now, which it will never be again, then I could enjoy this morning.  This morning where I slept in, until 8:37 a.m., ate breakfast & drank coffee in bed, started writing, and I’m still here at 11:36 am. Glorious.  If this was, let’s say, Friday, September 20, 2019, I would not label this morning a case of “pandemic depression”, no…it would be relaxation.  A person could even go so far as to say it is what the pre-pandemic modern world use to refer to as a “personal day.” (remember personal days?) I could find joy in working at home if all my neighbors got into their cars and drove to work this morning! THEN today would be a special day for me.  But, it is not.  It is day 53 of the lockdown, and there is nothing but the heavy responsibility of staying home and saving lives. Whatever…

**

Here is a draft I’m fussing with today:

Eyes Open
by Shannon Laws

I awake with a dry throat
from moaning in my sleep
I’m nailed to my bed
by the sounds of one a.m.

a rustle of false blueberry bush
heavy bodies trot by with a snort
I think I hear an owl a few blocks over
open mouths of raccoons act out a scene
play fight under the staged crab-apple tree

It’s so busy outside
at night
when all I do is sleep

##

My current mood expressed in a meme.  Take care.  Be a hero and stay home.
-Shannon

Day 31: Get Yer Boots On

Shower thoughts: If someone offered to pay for my food and rent for the next 18 years, I’d do anything they ask of me. But I complained every time I took the trash out while living at my parent’s house.

Are you ready to get a little deep today?

There is so much information floating around right now about CORVID-19.  Speculation, opinion, science, federal government BS, even emails from credit card companies, and insurance companies advising on “the best ways” to keep healthy during the pandemic.  (Wow-suddenly you care about my health?)  For news and information, I’m sticking with the KNOWNS.  I push updates from my county’s Department of Health, the CDC, emails from my personal doctor, listen/watch NPR, Democracy Now, and ABC Nightly News for flavor.

Yesterday I stumbled across an article that was a delight to read.  They say there is nothing more powerful than the right word spoken at the right time.  I felt a comradery with Nguyen’s insights.  We are of the same cloth; not the same caliber, mind you.  He is a writer who also has a burden to write.  He ends the article with this sweet truth, “I write not only because it brings me pleasure, but also out of fear — fear that if I do not tell a new story, I cannot truly live.”   He is Viet Thanh Nguyen, Contributing Opinion Writer, the article was in the New York Times, Sunday, 4/10/2020.

Here is the beef of it:
“Perhaps the sensation of imprisonment during quarantine might make us imagine what real imprisonment feels like. There are, of course, actual prisons where we have warehoused human beings who have no relief from the threat of the coronavirus. There are refugee camps and detention centers that are de facto prisons. There is the economic imprisonment of poverty and precariousness, where a missing paycheck can mean homelessness, where illness without health insurance can mean death.”

Read the full 2 minute read here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/opinion/sunday/coronavirus-america.html?fbclid=IwAR0C6wlR25MuZjOANDRmn6bQ4Vn4gcvRRNTOPzZ3LwHlM02F8o5y_tVC88s

My point: carving out a life was difficult for the middle, lower & poverty classes BEFORE the pandemic.  


This morning I wanted to revisit a poem I wrote waaaay back in 2001.  I don’t even see it as a poem, it is more of a journal really.  When I read it today I can still feel the agony and helplessness in the words.  It’s a window to a time in my life when I should have felt satisfied.  I was living the American Dream, but the price was too high; the burden too heavy.  Following the examples of my parents, yet it was all wrong.  What was different?

So, it is the late ’90s and as a young couple, we were delighted to finally achieve the American Dream: home & mortgage, cars & car payments, kids & kid maintenance, and the full-time jobs that pay JUST enough for it all.  Then…it happens.  It sneaks up on you, slowly, taking 10, 15 years for the poison to surface.  You wake up one day on the freeway heading home in a smothering hot car, stuck in a 3 mile back up—a hamster in a cage running on its wheel going nowhere.
You are woke.  You are pissed.

Today.  Today I live in a small one-bedroom apartment and my life is very simple.  I’m 20 minutes from work.  The cost of living 25 years later is higher, wages are stagnant, and I’m hustling.  I’m working two jobs, both essential during the pandemic, plus a little freelancing when I can.  So…guess what, I’m happy. I am satisfied. I am grounded.  I am full of peace.  Don’t get me wrong, if I am laid off it will devastate me financially.  My savings were absorbed to help get through the 2008 Great Recession.  ‘Effin sucks.  It is difficult to accept the limit of control, difficult to acknowledge that obtaining “things” and social status are empty ventures.
However, the true definition of maturity—and this is key—
I CAN STILL BE HAPPY.

Alarm

Watching the clock
waiting for time to
catch up with me:
Breakfast time.
Traffic time.
Working time.
Lunch time
More working time
Leaving time …finally here.

Time drags along like a leashed cat forced on a walk
Coming home late the house dark
My kitchen smells like the dinner missed
Opening a window a breeze floats in
a scent like rain on the blacktop
dust and wet at the same moment

Pouring myself into bed next to one already asleep a new rhythm starts
Breath bellows in and out
Fresh replacing exhausted
In a room absent of fluorescent
Moon glowing through slits of blinds
patterns across the nightstand
where the alarm clock sits
Not a clock only nor an alarm, but both
It’s red eyes watching as I toggle its hated button
Alarm clock: sound and visual aide that announces my next destination
A location I’ve purchased no ticket for but a price has been paid

Eyelids close
Mind opens
Dreams dreamt, too quick to absorb
ALARM!
ALARM!
Time races out of the gate!
I am the slow one now
5 a.m. comes too early
Quickly get on the carousel!
Around I go into another day, following the sun, while wishing for the moon

####


Credits

*Laws, Shannon. Madrona Grove: Poems Written Under the Canopy . Chickadee Productions. Kindle Edition.

Day 21

How are you today?  How are your neighborhood and your city handling the pandemic?  Are you meeting up with friends and/or family online?  I enjoy visiting with my family. Once a week, at a scheduled time, we meet online to keep in contact with each other.  It makes me very happy to SEE they are well and adapting to this lockdown!  Honestly. Please reach out to those you love if you aren’t already.  Listening to music is also helpful.  Did you catch Andrea Bocelli’s 24-minute concert this weekend? Oh my!  Powerful music and the visuals of empty city streets in mid-day.  Amazing.  https://youtu.be/huTUOek4LgU

Here is a mood poem I am working on.  It should give you a feeling of drama and anticipation:

Dry Unwanted Parts

There is a pile
back by the fence
winters clippings cross stacked 

It waits.
     It waits–
for gas
for the snap of a match

The sky to scroll back
the dead to rise
the heavy unable to move
the thin blown like leaves


1) an observed joy- I’m feeling thankful for our city of givers.  People are generous and very helpful, they really are what a good neighbor should be.  I will not forget these months.

2) a real concern- Two of our apartments were undergoing renovations in February.  The pandemic has slowed the process as you can imagine.

3) a personal challenge- This week we are preparing packages of home cleaning supplies for our tenants that live in apartments, and expanding our shelter to house two more families while keeping to social distancing.  It is a challenge.  If we work hard we may have a total of 4 new spaces for 4 families who are experiencing homelessness available by the end of April.  We are a small non-profit, and this attempt feels BIG.  However, I have learned never to underestimate my co-worker’s abilities.  We are diverse and creative in our approach, resourceful, well connected and very focused.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- Although there is much to do at work, I am learning to relax when it is time to relax. Guessing by the time I become a pro at this work from home thing, we will be back in the office. LOL

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- Even though I am not considered a high-risk individual, I wish I could know if I had COVID-19 and possess the antibodies via the blood test.  Curiosity really.  However, I do not believe our local hospital or testing stations would like a body mucking around asking questions.  I’ll just stay at home.

Here is my mood today illustrated by a meme.  A visual example of how I felt entering a fresh new 2020 and (visually) how I may feel leaving it.
Take care of your beautiful self!  -Shannon


Like my writing? Want to hear me read my poetry?  Of course, you do.  Please visit https://chickadeeproductions.bandcamp.com/releases   and download some today.  Only $1.00 a poem!

Day 4: Stay Home. Stay Healthy.

On March 24th the governor of Washington State declared the “Stay Home. Stay Healthy” mandate.

“It’s time to hunker down in order to win this fight. 
So, tonight, I am issuing a “Stay Home” order to fight this virus. This is Washington’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. This includes a ban on all gatherings, and closures of many businesses, unless those businesses are essential to the healthy functioning of our community, or are able to let employees work remotely from home.”

https://www.governor.wa.gov/news-media/stay-home-stay-healthy-address-transcript

I’ve decided to start an online journal, at least one paragraph a day during what I call “the lockdown.” Also, I am challenging myself to daily list the following,  1) an observed joy, 2) a real concern, 3) a personal challenge 4) one success (no matter how small) and 5) a random thought (no matter how silly)

Somehow, my employment luck returned.  Since 2008, I struggled to find a job that offered longevity.  Last spring, I landed two jobs that are listed as essential during the pandemic.  The anchor job is in social services, working with families that are experiencing homelessness, the other is an administrative assistant position with a local Presbyterian church.  Both organizations are a true joy to work for.  The folks are calm headed, skilled, knowledgable, resourceful, dynamic and community-focused—perfect people to work for during a global crisis.

Although I am not dressed like a character in the Road Warrior, I do feel like one from time to time–washing my hands like a warrior! wiping down surfaces like a warrior! Offering 6 feet of social distancing…like a warrior!  You know honestly, leather is easier to wipe down than cotton blends, just saying, if on the other end of all this we emerge draped in, like, leather togas or something, I’d be cool with it.

So, here I go…

Dearest journal,
Day 4 of the lockdown. 48 rolls of toilet paper. Phone on wi-fi to conserve data.

Great gobs of gratitude! My regular paycheck came yesterday.  I am feeling very thankful and fighting the urge to cash it, put it in a sock under the mattress.    I’ve been working from home for my housing job since Monday, March 16th as the organization started to observe a shelter in place policy.  I grabbed a few essential files and my laptop, wiped down my desk with Clorox wipes, covered my pen holder and stapler with tissues, laying them to rest, and drove home.  This week, somehow, I feel busier than usual.  I’m hopping from zoom meetings, webinars, text and email conversations, between two laptops and my cell phone, throughout the day to keep the momentum of projects previously started.  All the organizations I work with are functioning from home offices and somehow–miraculously– it is ALL working.

1) an observed joy- The crabapple tree framed by my bedroom window is showing the earliest green leaflets, bright green dots of spring.

2) a real concern- If the paychecks stop do I have enough food to cover the time between cash on hand is exhausted to unemployment relief arriving?  The problem being the time range between these personal events is unknown; 2 weeks? 3 months? …unknown.

3) a personal challenge- remember to wait to grocery shop after 9:00 a.m.  I hopped into the car to get cream for my coffee this morning about 8:15. In the parking lot, I realized it was the senior/high-risk shop time, went back home.  I have moments when I forget everything has changed.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I convinced two cousins and my brother, all living in a county that touches King County, Seattle, to have a zoom conference this Sunday, check-in, share stories, and hopefully,  uplift our spirits.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- for future elections, what if people could vote electronically through the pay point interface at the grocery store?


My friend Carla Shafer shared this video.  Her experience and the video moved me.  Please share if you are able:

On May 19, 2012, in Catalonia (Spain) a flash mob formed of local musicians showed up to play the “Ode to Joy” movement from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. You can view it at this link:

I cried as I watched it. I’m never sure what this kind of tears is about, maybe it comes from early childhood fears of being left alone, or maybe I hold some recent suppressed sense of loneliness. And it doesn’t matter. What matters to me is that I feel the feelings as authentic and as a release, and I am not embarrassed or ashamed (another carry-over from childhood).

I am grateful to have music from unexpected places. Lately, I’ve heard the Seattle Symphony’s streaming a free concert, and the Bellingham Symphony shared their dress rehearsal live on-line.

https://www.classicfm.com/composers/beethoven/news/beethoven-9-flashmob/

Youtube:  https://youtu.be/kbJcQYVtZMo

 

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