Poem: The 27th Day

too funny!

The 27th Day
Most of the evil in this world is done by people with good intentions.
-T.S. Eliot

Getting out of my car today I noticed a bee.
A large and fuzzy bumblebee slowly moving its legs
on the parking lot blacktop of my apartment building.

I saw a video once where a person found a honey bee in distress
gave it a little sugar water and it flew away happy.
I thought I would do the same for this fellow-creature.

I raced inside, grabbed a small bowl, and quickly concocted
a love potion of room temperature filtered water
with a pinch of raw, all-natural sugar into the bowl

Without saying a word I stepped up along its side, my feet
ten times its length, my silence like the voice of God shaking
mountains into the sea. A front bee-leg lifted up in proclamation-

STOP! Do not step on me!

I gave it a little at first, pouring my potion near its mouth, then watched
and waited. I looked for movement in the folded cellophane blanketed atop
the black and yellow body. A black thin tongue darted in and out of the puddle.

The rescue a success, I went inside and continued with my evening.
I was quiet about my good deed. The next day I saw it. Flattened. In line with a neighbor’s back tire. Inches from the stain of the dried sweetened water.

The bee did not fly away in search of flowers to bounce on. It did not sleep as I slept, with lighter shoulders knowing everything was reconciled between bee and human. What did I do wrong?

Perhaps it was evil to intervene. Perhaps I poured sugar water onto the ground to restored life, perhaps I gave a dying bee its last drink.

My Walk

This evening I went out for a walk. I walked four blocks in one direction turned right two blocks then came back to my home. It was colder than I was dressed for. Winter is coming.
I’m quietly thankful this evening. It is unexplainable. The Dalai Lama said, “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” Some days it is easier to defend the inner peace layer than others.
I’m wondering when during a casual conversation three American friends will look at each other and say something like, “Remember when everyone had to wear masks?”

Thank you for visiting my site. Please stay safe. Take care-
Shannon

Faces I Make Under My Mask

Celeste Headlee: At this moment we are more polarized, more divided than at any point in history
2020: Hold my beer…

September I noticed a shift. I’m still trying to put my finger on it. Perhaps those folks with school-aged kids in the home had their Stress Level knob turn to the right about five notches? That could be it. America is also inching its way closer to the election time. Also, the air is slowly getting colder and our nights getting longer. I wonder if by January I’ll board up my ground floor apartment, bust through to the roof through my neighbor’s bedroom to build up a makeshift roof fortress a’la Walking Dead. There is an anticipation in the air. A tension. It manifests in various ways I encounter daily. Folks driving distracted. Folks having problems talking clearly or remembering what was said a few minutes prior. Folks are having problems listening consistently throughout a full meeting or conversation. Opinions these days have sharp edges. We cut each other discussing the wildfire smoke in the air, that a favorite store shut down, or about wearing masks.

2020 summer/autumn matching
mask and outfits at D.H. Gate

THESE LIPS ARE MADE FOR MOVING

One day when I was having a conversation with someone about something I can’t remember, I caught my lips moving unconsciously. I wondered, “Do lips have a mind of their own under the mask? Is this something my brain wanted my lips to do all these years? Did social pressure keep my lips on lock-down? Is my face free to be itself?” This was an interesting conversation. Much more interesting than whatever the person I was staring at was trying to tell me about. I’m sure I moved my lips prior to the COVID Mandate but THIS animated?

The top lip curled under itself like when Peter Brady was practicing “Pork chops and applesauce.” for his drama class. Then they moved in and out over and over; out to fish lips then into a flat smile. My cheeks were jealous and began to flex altering left to right. …and now back to pork chops and applesauce. It was like my face was doing exercises under the privacy of three layers of cloth.

I hope and wish for your lips to be free and wild as each lip dreams to be.
Below is my current mood expressed in a meme.

Take care of yourself,
Shannon

Custom Fit

They took your data. Then they took control. The Great Hack uncovers the dark world of data exploitation through the compelling personal journeys of players on different sides of the explosive Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal. In select theaters and on Netflix July 24.

I use to watch a show called “The Lottery Changed My Life”.  As you may know, some people are naturally better at handling change than others.  Most lottery winners, one out of three, go broke, waisting the miraculous opportunity.  Another attribute of a sudden gain in money is the amplification of whatever characteristic you possess, vices, and blessings.  Money doesn’t change people, it amplifies what was already there.  Regardless of how good you may be at adapting, all major change comes with stress (see chart below).

A pandemic, a lasting event that is both unexpected and stressful much like winning the lottery, could be described as a one-size-fits-all global catastrophe. Although it has a blanket effect on people, it is also extremely customized per person based on what our situation was before it hit.  Each of us has unique circumstances that have created a specific pandemic experience.  It is as unique as our address if we are fortunate to have one.  As I walk about my day these past three months I hear different experiences from each acquaintance, co-worker, relative, or strangers that I chat up.  Here are the basic types in no particular order:

-My job is essential, working more hours, I’m exhausted, resources are difficult to come by, communication is slowed

-I was laid off from work, my unemployment was messed up, took 6 weeks to get it, I had to visit the food bank and paid no bills while waiting for unemployment to arrive

-I haven’t paid my rent since April 1st and I’m afraid I’ll be evicted on August 1st.  I cannot afford to move so I will end up in my car

-We sold the home we lived in for 20 years, we are downsizing in preparation for retirement, I’m going on a vacation will be back in two weeks

-My wife got COVID-19, she’s high risk, was in the hospital for almost three weeks.  The bill came and it’s close to $50k dollars! We will be paying this for the rest of our lives

-I hang out with friends, I’m young, I found a cool mask online.  Glad school is over

-One day in March all of my clients called me, all 23 of them in one day, to cancel service.  My husband came home early the same day—laid off from his job!  I’ve been crying all week! We don’t have savings and I’m scared

-My husband and I are fighting more now. How can I leave him during a pandemic? I’m sheltered in place with someone I hate

-I work from home since the shelter-in-place mandates.  I attend six zoom meetings a week with different departments. Almost 90% of my socializing is done electronically.  It is somehow exhausting

-I’m doing OK. Left social media and got rid of my smartphone years ago to free up my time working on my art.  I howl at the moon every night at 7:00.  I’m worried for my neighbors

-I leave the house once a month for groceries.  I work on my yard, sit on the porch, read, and talk to my neighbors as they pass by. I’m bored, but I want to be safe.  I’m in a high-risk category. I am in no hurry to get back out there

-Laid off from the refinery and on unemployment since May.  It’s like an extended vacation! I’m almost finished with my backyard projects, I’ve gone fishing, camping visited my Uncle over on the lake in Eastern Washington.  All of this pandemic stuff and mask requirements are stupid.  Once it’s over I’ll get my job back

-Two of our adult children needed to shelter in place at our home.  So all six of us are under one roof again.  I am very busy right now.  When I come home sometimes very late I step over the sleeping bodies of two of my kids in the living room.

-I discovered that my regular life is similar to shelter-in-place.  For about 10 years my work has been online, in a virtual office, I’m a gamer, and my whole social network is virtual.

 

So if you’re like me today and feeling a little pouty, consider this new mask that includes a window into your soul!  Let the world see your pouty luscious lips. Don’t let an all-cotton mask keep your gloss light hidden.  Shine on, baby, shine on! Only $7.99–

 

 

 


https://www.playusalotteries.com/en/lottery-news/article/10723/10-facts-about-lottery-winners.html

Click to access lifechangestresstest.pdf

Personal Interpretation

Hey, pppssst, how would you like to think about something different for a few moments?  You do? Oh good.
Warning: The following post has nothing to do with COVID-19.

Do you listen to satellite radio in your car?  I do.  I’m in my car a lot these days and discovering that space is, well, kinda nice.  For SOME reason my car is becoming a bit of a sanctuary for me.  So, anyway, I hear Led Zeppelin’s version of “When The Levee Breaks” the other day on “Classic Vinyl” and I started thinking about the way music is interpreted.

In 2011-2015 I was producing a music history radio program called Boosie’s Playhouse Classic Blues.  The program took a historical look at the first 50 years of the recorded blues.  The American blues are unique in many ways.  The origins go back long before audio recording was even a possibility.  One of the concepts I learned about was the business practice of black songs covered by white singers.  When a blues revival hit the charts in the 60s-70s few white artists gave credit to the original composers, most claimed the tune and lyrics for themselves.  Many talented people, whose songs were #1 hits made little, if no, money.

Despite the plagiarism, the blues singers, on their own bill, continued to change and grow, developing the sounds of centuries into something new, again, and again. As the country inched it’s way into the 1900s that moaning of the blues, country, and folk began to get played on the radio and enter into the mainstream of the American experience.  Contemporary artists added even more beats.  Taj Mahal called it the African Diaspora. He shares in his biography his parents “made him aware that all that was from the African Diaspora belonged to me. So I came in with Caribbean music, African music, Latin music, gospel music, and blues.”  Quincy Jones laments, “I only hope that one day, America will recognize what the rest of the world already has known, that our indigenous music – gospel, blues, jazz, and R&B – is the heart and soul of all popular music; and that we cannot afford to let this legacy slip into obscurity, I’m telling you.”

Each musician takes a sound and adds their own part.  So, in my car the other day, listening to a version of a song about a massive flood in the 1920s turned into, what I believe to be,  a sexually charged blues/rock tune sparked my memory of researching this very song six years ago for my radio program. So what do you think, did Led Zeplin keep the same spirit of the song or create something new?  It took many decades and intense social pressure from other artists for them to finally change the credits.  Did they pay tribute to the estates of Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie?  I don’t know.

Stay safe, wear a mask, and be kind to each other out there.  -Shannon

 


Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 · ‎Kansas Joe McCoy · ‎Memphis Minnie

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/when-kids-call-the-shots/201610/why-do-the-blues-feel-so-good

https://boosiesplayhouse.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/classic-60s-show-215/

https://www.loudersound.com/features/led-zeppelin-vs-memphis-minnie-when-the-levee-breaks

 

Day 32: TGIF I think…it’s Friday right?

Shower Thoughts: Last night my friend asked to use a USB port to charge his cigarette, but I was using it to charge my book. The future is stupid.

Happy Friday everyone!  Oh wait, IS IT Friday?  I’m not sure.  Let’s see- Traffic looks like a Sunday afternoon, every day feels like a Saturday, kinda, but sometimes the grocery stores are busy like it is Thanksgiving.  Hmmmm… I’m not sure.  What does it feel like for you?  At times, especially last week, it felt like floating in jello, honestly.  Existence is vague and with little reference of location and time.  My clock and calendars are handrails along a dark trail.

This is me in my car last week, getting ready to deliver some supplies to a high-risk tenant.  I’m still working *knock on wood* and happy to help folks.  I haven’t had more than a sore throat since last December, and I chalked that up to the pollen count.  However, on Monday I have a video appointment with my personal doctor and hopefully, it will result in testing.

Whatcom County in Washington State is offering very little testing opportunities.  An acquaintance of mine was tested about 8 days ago and laughed telling me about it.  He said it felt like a drug deal.  His doctor gave him directions and an address where he met two ladies, dressed head to toe in PPE, working out of an unmarked van in an alley downtown.  He was their ONLY customer.  I’m not aware of any mass testing operation happening in Washington like I see in California, where folks are qued up in mile-long lines perhaps at a stadium parking lot.  Of course, testing and re-testing will help our nation determine if the lockdown is working.  HAHAHAAAAA! …but it is not happening.

The Federal Government, State, and Local appear to be completely discombobulated.   Our ‘effin president basically confessed to offering more Federal aid and services to the Republican States AND (sweet Lord) wants scientists to look into UV and disinfectant injections to kill the virus INSIDE US!—???  Another WTF moment.  EVERY DAY is a WTF moment with this administration.  Unbelievable.

My current mood in meme form.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Hit “like” to let me know you were here.  Wishing you good health. -Shannon

Day 17: New Normal

Yesterday I did not journal. After early coffee and breakfast, I hit the ground running with work, both at home, zooming, and on sites, and went grocery shopping.  When the day ended I watched some “Outlander” and went to bed early.

Out And About

Must admit, it was nice to get out and drive around my city.  It was the perfect day for a drive, a mild 50-something-sun-shinnin-blue-sky-day! I was curious about what new things I might encounter, you know…out there…in the outside world.  Getting onto the freeway, I rolled down all four windows and enjoyed rushing fresh air whipping around the inside of my car while listening to anything other than the news.  The 1st Wave channel works to break the mundane news trance if you’re interested.
-Although it was Wednesday, it looked like a Saturday.  Many folks in the neighborhoods were cutting their grass, washing their cars.
-Very light traffic, like what you might notice on a holiday, but, of course, with NO British Columbia plates due to the border closure.
-Many people riding bikes, folks walking their dogs and strolling babies.  Food drive-thrus still open.
-At Fred Meyer, I purchased 8 days worth of food—breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  (Dang, it was expensive!)  There were small amounts of toilet paper available with signs to purchase no more than two packs of four.  It took me three attempts to retrieve coffee because the isle was too busy.  About 3/4 of the shoppers were wearing masks.
-Also, later, I noticed a white truck with a “Federal” seal driving around Happy Valley.  I’ve never seen that seal before and it caught my attention.  On the social website Nextdoor, a person took a photo of a Volvo that was video recording neighborhoods.  Are they looking for folks breaking the mandate? I wonder if the sightings are related? Curious.

1) an observed joy- Chatted with a neighbor I’ve never met while out for a walk.  We walked in the same direction on opposite sides of the road (plenty of space). We parted ways at an intersection and wished each other good health.

2) a real concern- Nothing new is being reported about airport screenings. I assume passengers are being screened, but, who knows. There appears to be little less airplane traffic these days.  To view every single airplane in the air this second, visit https://www.flightradar24.com/ 

3) a personal challenge- I need to find new ways to eat healthy for less.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I stretched for 30 minutes this morning.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- It’s so nice out this week.  This morning the air coming in my bedroom window reminded me of summers, when I was a kid, sleeping in our back yard.

Here is a pandemic meme that expresses how I felt yesterday going out to do errands.  Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy. -Shannon

Day 14: It Gets Real

This is Monday.  Normally I turn on my cell at 7-7:30 am and within 60 seconds various tones notify me of new emails or texts.  Working a Saturday to Wednesday shift, Monday is when most of my contacts respond to various communications from the previous week.  EVERYONE is in the office on Monday.  Today, all the organizations I work with are sheltered in place some since the week of 3/16.  The flow of work and communication is showing a noticeable difference.  It’s no longer a racehorse jumping out of the gate at 7:00 am.

This morning my silent phone feels a bit eerie.

1) an observed joy- Enjoyed the Palm Sunday live stream with the church; many of the parishioners displayed clipped fern leaves, a palm-like stalk found in almost every Northwest yard, for the occasion.  Later that evening Zooming with my family, a phone call catch up with a writing friend, was touching as well.

2) a real concern- Two of my friends believe the lockdown will be extended into June or July.  I REALLY hope they are wrong. As a social worker, I understand that people and families in crisis live in a pandemic-like state constantly, with no foreseeable end.  The common suburbian- in crisis -is an unstable animal.

3) a personal challenge- I want to increase my walks from 4-5  a week to twice a day.

4) one personal success (no matter how small)-I’ve tackled my file cabinet, and I’m doing better about leaving a pile of dishes in the sink.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- How long in lockdown before I vacuum behind the bookshelf? There is a spider web back there amongst the dust bunnies and a forgotten hair tie. It is a guardian of all things hidden and forgotten.

Here is my current mood expressed in a pandemic meme.  It’s a shout out to all the ‘effin’ people over 70 I see in the grocery stores rocking the isle without a mask with a “death can not touch me” attitude, meanwhile…