In This Together

It’s all about connection. Why do bloggers blog, journalists write columns, novelists share stories? It is an exercise in expression to be sure, but without connection it can be an empty exercise. We need one another. Why is it that tragedy often has to occur before we remember this? To engender kindness, caring gestures, thoughts of others? It has always been.

As a people are we getting more selfish, introverted, myopic? I hope not – I think our busy-ness can get in the way of our clarity – hard to see past.

I am enamored with healthcare workers – particularly those on the front lines putting their patients’ health requirements over (possibly) their own. At its best it is a noble profession, a true calling of selflessness, caring, giving.

I find myself asking what I can do to help my community cope with Covid-19. My age puts me at risk, I am anything but a daredevil, but I want to help. Perhaps writing, reaching out, starting a conversation that I am certain I am not alone in thinking, is my way of doing that.

Clearing the cobwebs. I have been on a long writing hiatus, this is not new for me. I can be the ‘need to get hit by a Mack truck’ type. I can go decades, until something big inspires me, almost insisting upon my involvement, a push too massive to ignore.

Writing has played a large and important role in my life. It has sheltered me, scorched me, loved me, smacked me. It has clarified me, embraced me, filled and emptied me. Writing may not be your tool but I’m certain we all have procured ways in which to share ourselves. It is our human need, our human way.

And perhaps that is the point. Our connection. While respecting the challenges of our many differences we also must celebrate the humanity that makes us the same. Because it’s ever more necessary in times of crisis, because if we aren’t here for each other what are we here for?

We are in a healthcare emergency. I want to write about the loneliness, the fear, the social distancing manner in which we now connect, the uncertainty. I write because I’m having a hard time synthesizing the bad news with what once was my life. I also write to connect, reach out, hope someone takes the time to read and respond and share their experience. I thank you for that.

As CBS keeps annoyingly but truthfully insisting – “We are all in this together.” And let me add, we will get out of this together as well. Stay safe.

 

 

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Partly Gone

‘Exquisitely painful’ is the description I’d give for my memories of those no longer here. Those who have touched me deeply, inexorably, powerfully. What more meaningful offering can a being hope to leave as a legacy?

I am amazed at the clarity with which I can remember certain details: lyrics by famous and not so famous artists, dimples, deep conversations, laughs, smells. Sideways glances, smiles, tears, advice, kindness.

What do we choose to leave as a reminder of ourselves? How do we nourish ourselves and others? Who are we? What do we stand for?

My parents were freedom fighters – brave, opinionated, and committed to (what they considered) right action. They were fearless, loving, proud, and responsible. They are the people I would and have modeled my life after.

When individuals have passed you may think of them differently. More generously perhaps because they are missed, or perhaps because their better attributes are remembered.

I choose to grow into a better version of me, with a wider angle slanting toward loving kindness in thought and action, so that my children can see me as generously as I see my parents.

Legacies of love are legacies that bear repeating.

Happy holidays.

 

 

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Intoxication

Sometimes I am intoxicated by writing. An idea will gel, my fingers tap words across the keyboard and I am unstoppable. Before I reread, before I edit grammar and vocabulary, I am a mildly manic maniac intoxicated by words and ideas and expressions.

Then there are times when I am NOT intoxicated by writing. When I sit still as stone before my computer screen staring at a blank Microsoft Word page, daunted by the task before me, emptied, uninvolved, disconnected.

But then come those times when I have to write my ideas down  Рwhich, at least in that moment Рseem brilliant. The phraseology of my sentences, the topics of which I speak, the breath of song within. There are times when writing takes hold of my soul and flies with the angels Рall by itself РI hardly have to think. Words bubble from a well of depth related memories and I am moving at the speed of a gallop Рpages running quickly beneath my hooves.

The feeling is one of freedom, wind whooshing through my hair, eyes wide. My mind is a step ahead of the rest of me and my fingertips race to stay in sync. It is in these moments that I break through the wall of me, I rip through boundaries and visit the foreign that oddly feels familiar. I follow my thoughts fearlessly like leaders lead. I am somewhere else.

Life gets bigger and includes all of me, and I accept this. Before I judge, before I worry what another thinks, before self consciousness sets in – I am simply where I am, in the moment, with my self expression.

 

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Quotes of Worth

Each moment describes who you are, and gives you the opportunity to decide if that’s who you want to be.

Anonymous

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Quotes of Worth

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elizabeth Kubler Ross

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Quotes of Worth

Have patience with everything that is unsolved in your heart and try to cherish the questions themselves, like closed rooms and like books written in a very strange tongue. Do not search now for answers which cannot be given you because you could not live them. It is a matter of living everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will gradually, without noticing it, one distant day live right into the answer.

Rilke

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Humanity

Who would think that death could bring out the best in us? Family members and friends gathering to support and nourish one another through tragedy. It is millennium old and community minded and, honestly, at peak performance, it is when we human beings behave with humanity.

It happens continually and often – the Columbine shooting, 9/11, the recent rash of devastating hurricanes, at a school in Newtown, at a nightclub in Orlando, at a music festival in Las Vegas. We offer blood, food, water, supplies, our money and our time.

Yesterday a small group of us gathered in a semicircle at a graveside funeral ceremony. And I noticed it again. Family members, friends, people I know hardly at all, and strangers. all in one place at one time with one goal – to help each other get through these tough moments. Humanity. With all the insanity and violence and senseless acts of terror we can forget kindness, get jaded, become cynical and protective, judgmental, angry and closed.

But the opposite reaction, counter-intuitive though it may seem, is the more appropriate one.

Humanity.

Shiva is the period of mourning following a loved one’s death.¬†During this time, family members traditionally gather in one home to receive visitors and retell stories of old, reconnect, and breathe. We are sitting shiva in my home for three days (traditionally one sits for seven) and we are spending time together. I do this for my stepfather who is a gem of a being and whom I dearly love. It is a low technology environment, we spend deep time, hug, stare, and share meals. A throwback to simpler times.

Let us remember what connects us more than what divides us. Let us breathe in the crisp air, swoon at the china blue sky and its rainbows, see the beauty around us, and be ever thankful for those we have loved, love still, and will love.

Humanity.

Whitsunday Islands

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