Day 24

The Twitter account “Shower Thoughts” has a good thought that is working for me.  It reads: “Go to bed, you’ll feel better in the morning” is the human version of “Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?”

Sleep is a marvelous reset, isn’t it?  I am thankful for my little bed.  In this day and age, having your own place is a luxury, no matter how small the slice of pie.  While checking out my groceries at Fred Meyer today I asked the check out person why they haven’t had large shopping carts for over two weeks now.  She said these words exactly, “the homeless took them!”  That’s about 30-40 carts!  I wonder if there are fewer beds for the Bellingham homeless during the lockdown. When the shutdown began the Lighthouse shelter closed and was moved to the High School.  The city refit the school into a homeless shelter.

Here is a poem by Wallace Stevens, published in 1923, the last two stanzas

Tea at the Palaz of Hoon

Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
And my ears made the blowing hymn they heard.
I was myself the compass of that sea:

I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.

1) an observed joy- I saw these flowers today. SO perfect! I thought they were plastic.

2) a real concern- There are so many on a national scale.

3) a personal challenge- the challenges are the same, walk every day, keep to a regular work schedule, eat well.  It’s getting boring

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I’m finding myself more truly, more strange.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- When I walk around my neighborhood I think it is funny how we give each other plenty of distance, crossing the street, moving to the middle of the road.

Here is my current mood illustrated in a meme.  Be well. -Shannon

 


As of this post, the USA leads the globe with 34,522 COVID-19 deaths.
Next is Italy 22,170, then Spain with 19,315.
https://ncov2019.live/data

Good Egg

Seattle, 1987 an old stone church somewhere around Capitol Hill: I woke up. 
My first job out of high school I worked as a freelance television production field assistant for David, a producer who had, what was called, “an account” with CNN.  David had a working relationship with the network to provide feature stories from the Northwest corridor that included Northwest Oregon, Washington and Alaska.  It was one of the most life changing jobs I ever held.  One experience I had in the field has recently resurfaced in my thoughts.  It has made me consider the heavy responsibility writers, communicators, reporters and producers have to the public.
Me and the Bates Quad Tape Machines,
possibly cueing up some Paul Anka
KBTC TV, Tacoma
I first met David in the hallway at my school, L.H. Bates Technical located in downtown Tacoma on Yakima Street.    David was looking for an assistant, gave me his card, I took the job.  It was brilliant on-the-job training while I finished up my degree.
David had a small upstairs office off Broadway, above a restaurant called “The Good Egg”, just a block or so down from the QFC Grocery.  Nothing glamorous, as you may think.  It was a lonely gray room, bare walls and the only office furniture was shelves that held the tape library, two desks and two chairs.  One desk had a ¾ inch tape editing system on it, the other had stacks of papers and the only good chair. When I was called in for a shoot, THIS was headquarters.  Running downtown 20 minutes from my home in south Seattle, I never had a place to sit.  That was fine because I never was there for more than a half hour at a time.  Headquarters to me was the place to load up the car for a shoot with boxes of tapes, batteries, the lighting kit and mics, nothing more.
One half of a Sony 3/4 inch editor
One day I was called in to do errands.  When I arrived David was reading a newspaper, from a stack at least a foot thick.  He gave me a list of places to purchase new tape stock, ship some things out, and an order for lunch and mochas.  When I returned, he was more than half way through the pile, as he gleamed each page for future features he wanted to cover. 
“This is how it starts,” he told me, “research.”  His job seemed boring and tedious.
Many of the stories we covered were moving,  but none more than the musician   It was one of my first assignments.  A standard shoot: interview and B-roll.  Usually, I did not know what we were shooting until the drive over.  This evening David was covering a local musician who was performing at an old church.  
The musician was a singer, songwriter, guitarist, who, I was shocked to discover, also in a wheelchair!   He was a little person with a malformed spine that kept him from walking.  Despite his height and limited mobility, his arms and shoulders allowed him to play a guitar with ease.  (I have tried unsuccessfully to find him online, so my apologies that I cannot credit his name for this article.)  His message was an inspiring one.  The doctors told his parents he wouldn’t live more than ten years, yet here he was in his mid-thirties.  His band traveled around sharing original music with hopes to encourage, enlighten, and increase social awareness about the handicap.      
Host/Producer Denny, me (grip/assistant)
and a new cameraman
Ketchikan, Alaska
My main job during an interview was to monitor the audio. Once everything was set up, David sat down with the guest and the two started to talk.  I sat there, in the shadows as it were, large headphones over my ears, listening to the audio, adjusting it as needed.  Then I started to not just listen, but to HEAR and understand.  The musician’s voice, with its rich warm tones, flowed directly into my ears, brain and heart.  With eyes closed I could not hear his disability, only his spirit!  Memory, however, is a strange beast.  I cannot remember one word he said!  I DO remember feeling moved to tears by his story.  Those words, not words spoken, but the spirit in which they were expressed, moved me.  It seemed like for the first time in my life I was standing before a true warrior; a man who fought real battles every day.  Yet instead of being bitter and angry about his handicap he simply celebrated life, seemed thankful for every breath. Thankful for his family, his music, his life!  My impression of the physically handicapped changed from fear and uncertainty, to the realization that a full spirit lives inside the shell we call “Body”, a full complete person, despite any disfigurements, limps, or mutations of the flesh. 
I understood why David found his job so exciting.  Why he searched the newspapers for remarkable stories.  These were voices that needed to be shared with everyone.  He was a good egg.  
~   ~   ~
I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. 
~Leonardo da Vinci