Day 27: Not Normal

If it wasn’t for the news I could believe this was a normal day in April.  

The sun is lower now, a quick glance at the clock and confirm 5:11 p.m. Most families will be off the trail, heading home for dinner.  It’s a good time for a walk around the lake.  

Coming up and around the southern end of the trail, I see them.  Hundreds of young thistles standing like soldiers, their singular three-pointed leaf faces worship the bright lake. It isn’t the dark moggy brown water it sees, but the sun.  The sun lights the surface of the lake white, tricks the young and I ask myself, “Does it matter? ”

A murder of four walks towards me, “Children there’s a person.  Put your masks on…” A bike races between us without ringing its bell.  It’s OK, we all saw it coming. The family shuttles pass, the bike zooms away and once again I am alone with the trees and the wide path.  I could sing, no one could hear me—the woods are that thick, but I don’t. 

Sitting at the west side park bench I notice the date on the dedication plaque installed squarely in the ground.  Dedicated to a gentleman born a month before my birthday, exactly, but died in 2002. I wonder, “What was I doing in 2002?” My mind is blank.  All I can think about are the ducks on the lake. Where are their nests?  

A chuckle of college kids is at the beach laughing at death.  Their loud vapor spreading voices travel across the water for the whole park to hear.  That is what still water does. All of these people at the lake, trying to be safe while getting some fresh air and this loud pack acting like its a normal day.  

 

My mood illustrated in meme.  -Be well, Shannon

 

Day 20: High Expectations

Happy to report, a voice inside my head has been quieted.  It wanted me to achieve an unreasonable amount of success during the lockdown.  It told me how easy it was to work from home, finish my short stories, loose weight, eat better, get more exercise, clean every inch of my apartment and grow spiritually during this intense time in world history.  It sounded like, after the Stay Home, Stay Healthy mandate was over, I’d be as Christ leaving the tomb victorious over death and writer’s block! Well, voice in my head, I hate to break it to you, but I am not Christ,  I am human, although I’m a pretty good human, I DO HAVE LIMITS, for cryin’ in the night!  To achieve Christ-likeness during these 2-4 months of a pandemic would be a small miracle for sure.  So,  I say “Good day, sir.  Leave me to my textured life of layered excuses.  harumph!”

On a different note, here is the first draft of a poem I wrote about my house plant:

Common House Plant

Terra cotta prisoners
I have questions for you.
Gloved hands bind you
to bagged soil, force-feed
you vitamins and faucet water.
When roots touch potted boundaries
tell me, do you scream?

 

1) an observed joy- this morning I enjoyed St. James Presbyterian’s Easter service live-streamed on Zoom, (the music was especially uplifting) and my “regular Sunday morning check-in” call with a good friend.  It was really nice.

2) a real concern- The high cost of food in my area is still a concern. I decided to shop for fresh veg and fruit this Wednesday.

3) a personal challenge- reread “Why Poetry” by Matthew Zapruder

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- As of today, all my regular bills are paid.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- I haven’t had a haircut since December 2019. Washington State, the next time you shut us down, could we get maybe a months warning?

Here is my current mood illustrated by a meme.
I wish you, wherever you are, good health, peace in your hearts and courage for the challenges you face.
-Shannon