Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Alone Together - Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19

 Who would have thought in March 2020 that one year later COVID-19 would still be around, we would be wearing masks, and over 500,000 people would have died it? It is not surprising that books about COVID-19 have been added to the library collection. A new book that I found at the library is Alone Together - Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of COVID-19 which is edited by Jennifer Haupt.

 This book is a collection of short stories, poems, and reflections by a variety of writers. There is such a diversity of writing styles and content which makes it an interesting book. With so many perspectives on the pandemic and its impact on people, it is reassuring to know that I'm not alone in feeling the way that I do. 

Some things that stood out from the various poems and stories include: 

- Part of the tremendous unease during the pandemic has been recognizing that we are in the midst of transformation, with no clear sense of where it will lead and little reassuring guidance along the way. 

- We're doing these things we didn't have time for in the past because we were so busy with our lives.

Olivia making a barn quilt. She was commissioned to do a 
custom-designed barn quilt which is exciting!

- What's the new normal now? I'm finding that we're going back to some of the things that we used to do growing up and my kid is enjoying it!  

Enjoying watching and photographing birds during the pandemic.

- These shared experiences are bringing us closer together, and I think that's one of the gifts of this time, that we're going to develop some new old ways of interacting with each other. 

Making food for holidays and other special days.

- That's when I saw something I'd missed for a long time. Smiles. 

- Only when I noticed others doing errands in their pajamas did I realize that...people were going outside wearing the clothes they'd just slept in. It wasn't exhibitionism. Dressing had become as blurry as the days of the week.

- Our faces became armored with masks. When people approached it was impossible to determine if they were happy or threatening. 

Some of our Lions Club members packaging food for 

other members before a Zoom club meeting.

- Each week I spend triple (on groceries) what I did pre-virus and still feel like I do not have enough.

- The virus sheds and we shed what doesn't serve us so we can focus on what matters.

Enjoying a meal together on New Year's Day.

- In times like these, trying to produce any kind of art feels a bit frivolous. But when we're stuck in our homes and told only to go out when absolutely needed, making art is probably the best way to combat anxiety and atrophy.

Made window stars for Olivia's 18th birthday which 
also was her golden birthday.

- We can treat our pain and create change when we turn our grief and anger into action.

- The plans that had been the tent poles for my illusion of control were pulled right out of the ground. I had to make new plans, live by new rules, which took some doing.

- For the first time in her life, she must do nothing at all. 

- Somewhere in the past year, she has stopped waking up more beautiful each day. Something has shifted in her face and she sees age flicker between her brows then dive down to the two crevices on the sides of her mouth. 

- Grace is finding your own unique strengths and developing those as best you can. Grace is doing what you love and loving what you do.

One of the things I love is taking photos of nature - plants and wildlife.

- You want to keep arguing for those things you were passionate about fifty days ago, but you cannot remember what day of the week itis, you cannot remember the month.

- You see your family and friends via cell phone, via computer. Your hair is grayer. There are circles under everyone's eyes, there are worry lines accenting the corners of mouths. 


Conducting meetings on Zoom has become the new normal.

At this particular one, we had a speaker and bald eagle from The Raptor Center 

join us for a presentation.

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