Every fall the big tree in my yard dumps 15 giant garbage bags of leaves for me to rake and bag. I think I’ll move to an apartment if I don’t have to clean up the leaves ever again. But then I think if I move the people in the apartment above me probably walk around all day like elephants. My house is nice and quiet. Decisions, decisions . . .
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I learned I could live on a deserted island during this pandemic. Provided I had plenty to eat. And assuming the place wasn’t full of hungry predators who were bigger than I am. Actually, maybe what I really learned is that I can be isolated in my comfy home for months at a time and not go stark raving mad. We writers have an advantage over the rest of the world. We are introverts. Another advantage is that we produce whole worlds in our imagination – so who needs anything outside the house?
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They say an attitude of gratitude makes you a more successful person. That you should count your blessings each night before going to sleep. Right now just being alive and disease free is a blessing. There is so much to worry about – our democracy, our planet, our jobs and livelihoods. It’s hard to remember to be thankful for anything. So lets stay safe, live through this, and bless the world with our wisdom as we recover.
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As a kid, I used to play fighting games. Outside in the sunshine. Now kids play them in front of the TV. The top trending movies are about fighting – people shoot each other like crazy. In cities around the country people are marching in protests about the way we treat each other. The “leaders” of the country won’t do anything that helps anyone. The churches preach intolerance.
Do we plan to fight until there’s no one left standing?
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I opened a new pack of Clorox wipes to clean up the load of groceries I’d just brought in the house. Ah, life during corona virus.
After, the smell on my hands took me back years. Back to an elementary school where I used to teach. Back to a school where the janitor polished and waxed the floors so regularly they gleamed. The wax, or the cleaning fluid, that he put in the machine he pushed up and down the halls, smelled like my hands.
I was back in the hallways of that building, thinking about all the kids who passed through them – probably still will when this pandemic is over. Back in a part of my life that was as natural as breathing.
Now, each time I use those wipes, I’ll go far away. Funny how a smell can do that to you.
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So many things we are thirsty for in America today. For truth, which is hard to find. For justice, which is even harder and more dangerous to find. For an understanding of the constitution and the guarantees we have a citizens. We’re thirsty for freedom from the oppression of capitalism and the way it holds most of us down. We’re thirsty for just a trace of human kindness from the folks who hold the reins in this country.
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Things are all akimbo in the world right now. Taking care of yourself while trying to do the right things is so important. May I suggest a few moments with music and dancing? It lightens your spirits and refreshes your soul. You can dance like nobody’s watching, because they probably aren’t! Turn up the music, please.
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Think about all the alert sounds you know now that didn’t exist a few years ago. Alerts for games, for Facebook Messenger, for emails and voice mails and Marco Polo talks. Then there’s the horrible one for civil defense alerts or tornado warnings. What we don’t hear is the old timey ‘ring ring’ of a landline. Now phones ring with songs or chimes or clown horns. Modern day smart phone create a lot of interruptions. Don’t pay any attention. Keep writing.
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I don’t miss the traffic and the noise. I don’t miss the crowded parking lots and the lines. I don’t miss the pushy people who seemed to be everywhere. Thanks to Facetime and Zoom and plain old phone calls, I don’t miss my friends and family too horribly. Sometimes I wonder what I do miss and the number of things I’d name is very low. We adapt. We make the most of it. Stay safe.
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As a kid, my dream was to become a writer. I did that. But it’s funny how I got there. I took a side trip through many years of teaching. My favorite thing to teach was writing!
Those early dreams tell us who we are, what we are. Do you remember your earliest dreams? Did they somehow come to pass in your life?
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