Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Distance 3/31/20

I have been watching the world from a distance since March 6th.

It’s OK though. I am used to some of it already.

I am living primarily in 2 large-ish rooms, separated from my family in other parts of the house. I have two windows, one for sunrises, and one for sunsets, so I’m fine.

And I can see 4 different bird feeders, so I’m good.

I can even see surprise guests sometimes.

 

But my most important Windows to the World these days are the ones I look in from the outside. It’s how I see my son and grandson (they won’t let me take photos). We’ve had some good talks this way, divided by such a small distance created by glass. (So close, and yet so far…).

And, it’s how I see Loki, the new Christmas kitten. We had just completely bonded and then I was cruelly isolated from him when my Doc “grounded” me to my rooms 26 days ago. 🙁

 

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Loki, a couple of weeks before the virus hit

 

Now, my only contact is through HIS Window on the World.

Each day he waits for our window-visit

Then we play through the window…his favorite thing is if I hold up the fish video on my phone.

 

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He has grown so much since we started this isolation.   Sigh…

 

Well, that’s my take on distance for today. You really should check out some of the other responses to this particular Lens Artist Challenge. They are lovely, inspirational, touching posts…I’m honored just to be responding to the same challenge!

https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2020/03/28/lens-artists-challenge-90-distance/

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #90: Distance

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2020/03/29/distance/

 

And, in keeping with my  commitment to find something uplifting every day, to balance all the frightening news stories, I found this! It’s long, (15 minutes) but delightful (especially if you are an “Office” or “Jack Ryan” fan…)

 

And this:

 

 

https://travelsandtrifles.wordpress.com/2020/03/28/lens-artists-challenge-90-distance/

Spirit Lifter-Day 25 of being “Grounded” Part Four

So if you are a regular reader, you know I can sometimes end up slightly off the beaten path…kinda out there…a little weird.

Today is one of those posts, but it’s all my friend Karuna’s fault. (Check out her blog, especially if you like Mother Nature HERO stories. She is one, though she would never call herself that.)

Beauty in My Backyard-Spring 2020

 

Anyway, I credit her with getting me started on WordPress…but that’s not why today’s post is her fault.

Early in my blog, because I wrote about my Bugs, and she blogged about her Worms, we discovered both of us were fairly grossed out by each other’s creepy, crawly passions. So we tried to teach each other about our respective…uh, pets? I could never quite see the whole worm thing (she raises them to help in the gardens or something) and I’m not sure she ever got my bug thing either.

We share one passion for sure though. We both believe there are lessons absolutely everywhere in life. You just have to be open to them. There are huge ones of course, like what the whole earth is learning right now (the hard way, the very hard way).

Lesson example: Given the stunning, clear blue skies showing up across the planet, from just a few days of humans staying inside and not polluting, why didn’t we do that long before now, on purpose, on our own, even for just a cosmic minute, every now and then, you know, to give the earth a break, a breather???

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/national/its-official-metro-manila-now-has-bluer-skies-cleaner-air/ar-BB11IRj2?ocid=spartandhp

 

But the smaller lessons so valuable also.

Because I love Karuna, I continue to work on shifting my perspective on worms and here’s what happened on my morning walk.

Two things you need to know first.

  1. I’ll photograph anything
  2. I was born not wanting to ever kill a living thing

Again if you are a regular, number one above you may have noticed. But the second one, well, here’s where it may get weird.

I’m not sure what all I actually believe, spiritually speaking, but I do know one thing.

I, specifically, am not supposed to kill anything….well, except the carpenter ants eating my house, and I suppose, like most of us today, I would relish killing Covid 19!

But I’m telling you, I brought it here with me.

I also believe that this is a deeply personal thing and not everyone else was born the way. I was.  I try to have very little judgment about others who can hunt a deer, or step on a cock roach, or join the military. (Don’t get me wrong, I have spent a life time “fighting” for peace and protesting wars, but I know ultimately, every person has to make decisions like that for themselves.)

 

close up of woman holding a hamster
Photo by Rudolf Jakkel on Pexels.com

So back to my walk…

It was exceptionally beautiful out this morning, crisp, cold, bright blue, breezy, and freshly pollen-washed everywhere from last night’s downpour.

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With my camera (Galaxy 8+) in hand, I took off in search of something uplifting to photograph. In minutes, I spotted this in the low sun, glistening on the wet roadway.

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It was so huge and so cool looking with the sun from behind it, of COURSE, I had to take a picture…for Karuna!

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Amazing, really. You can see all the insides!

But, as I was bending over to get a close up, I spotted the only one of my neighbors I don’t get along with…for many years now. She was headed in my direction. I was rattled because I don’t like pretending to be nice….so with her, I don’t. But that doesn’t feel good either…so I figured, in light of the Zombie Apocalypse, I might try it anyway.

It was then that my phone slid out of my grip…yep, crashing right onto my worm!!

I swear, I could hear it scream! It curled up tight, wriggled a bunch, and then tried to stretch back out to crawl away, but in the wrong direction. I found a stick, lifted it gently and set it down in the grass it had seemed to be headed for when I nearly killed it.

Rescue mission accomplished, I turned around to “be nice” to my neighbor but she had moved on…rapidly, I’m sure having collected more evidence for her file on me. (She plays with worms in the middle of the street!)

On the rest of my walk, I searched my mind and heart for the lessons in this complicated encounter. I won’t bore you with those details because it turned into a whole self-therapy session. A LOT of lessons!!

Bottom line here? I have to call my youngest sister, who has been estranged from me for a couple of years now….

Bessey Girls

 

And just in case, my elaborate story didn’t lift your spirits (like it did mine), here’s a wonderful poem circulating right now.

 

“Lockdown” – March 13, 2020
Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM
(The Franciscan Order)

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

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Plaza Major, Madrid-as never seen before 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89: A River Runs Through It

I’m a little behind on some  of my favorite “challenges” but this one really got my attention.

I’m more of a Pacific Ocean Beach gal, but have been associated with two amazing rivers in my life time.

First, Old Black Water, the Might Mississippi! I had the privilege of living right next to it, in Natchez, MS for many years. And James grew up there. When I crave an Ocean, he longs for the River.

 

For years on every visit down South, it was a ritual for these three brothers to make at least one visit to the bluff overlooking their childhood River.

 

James’s love for his river became apparent to me when we first got back together (at our 40th High School Reunion).

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One year we visited right after Her Majesty overflowed her banks…(picture on the right is on the local Golf Course)

 

And second, thanks to James who found another river to live by, here’s the magnificent Spokane River.

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Now we live in a city far from oceans and rivers…unless you count this kind…

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a raging river, right?
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Well, sort of…

 

😋😋😋

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #89: A River Runs Through It

Spirit Lifters-Day 20 of being “Grounded” Part Three

OK, I’ve never had a Facebook page.

I know, I know, but I’m only telling you because I think what I am sharing today is more like what I have seen on Facebook. One of them even came from Facebook.

In my quest for daily Spirit Lifters, I came across these three things that have been a delight to experience!

Since I know dancing, singing and laughter are the best spirit lifters, here you go!

 

The first, though it sets the bar pretty high, is so inspiring, it makes me want to find the nearest dance studio and take lessons. Oh wait…Social distancing would prevent that.

So maybe I’ll just go outside and dance alone on the lawn. Who knows, after they get over gathering still more proof that the oldest resident in the neighborhood is very weird, my neighbors might join me!

We could start a new Anti-Virus Lawn-Dancing CRAZE!

Maybe it would go VIRAL! (ha-ha…too soon?)

 

Next, since there seems to be some bad-mouthing going on in my country about the younger people ignoring the Stay Home edicts in different states, I found this wonderful example of young people, coming together and doing something amazing and spectacular from the safety of their homes!! And I have to admit, I love that it’s a Boomer Song!

(I guess you’ll have to copy and paste into your browser. I don’t know how to make it a link on my post…I don’t really even know if I’m allowed to share these this way.)

WATCH: Berklee Students Create Virtual Orchestra During Coronavirus, Perform ‘What The World Needs Now Is Love’

But my favorite is this last one, the one from Facebook.  Delightful, hysterical, touching, and I bet you watch it more than once!

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158289063553653&id=521723652&sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=i

 

Where ever you are, even if your local government has not insisted that you do, PLEASE Stay Home and Stay Safe!

 

Spirit Lifters-Day 19 of being “grounded” Part Two

I still get out to walk briefly each day and the sun has done its thing for me out there also. It points itself directly at something.

It’s as if it’s tapping me on the shoulder, saying “Uh, Hellooo!”

Look up. Look around.

Nature is still here for you, unaffected by the Virus.

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PS The MINUTE after I posted, I watched this little video on Greater Good Science Center’s newsletter. PERFECT timing! Short. Enjoy!

 

Spirit Lifters-Day 19 of “being grounded” Part One

Sometimes, I’m oblivious to beauty.

It’s always there though.

It’s almost embarrassing to discover how long I might have ignored a beautiful offering from Nature, from the Universe…

But then the SUN, loudly and clearly, spotlights a thing I hadn’t noticed, something I’d been ignoring.

I can’t always capture it with my camera, but it’s usually impossible to walk by without a pause to appreciate…

You really must try it…

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Shells from Fiji Trip…time to looked at those photos again…

 

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My FAVORITE piece of art…that I hadn’t looked at in a while

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wonderful couple I married, that I wanted to call

Something Beautiful! 3/22/2020

Though the road in front of my house is desolate…

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…at the top of the hill is one of the busiest streets in my town…and there is NO traffic…great time for a drive!

 

 

The Primroses I added this year are flourishing….

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And I even have one, HUGE beautiful bug left. She just keeps hanging on!

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So many lovely thoughts, actions, creative sharings, inspirations from beloved friends and even the media….

Everyone Hang Tight. Learn all you can.

And Love each other Loudly!!

 

Here’s a beautiful poem shared by a dear friend…

 

Pandemic by Lynn Ungar

 

What if you thought of it

as the Jews consider the Sabbath—

the most sacred of times?

Cease from travel.

Cease from buying and selling.

Give up, just for now,

on trying to make the world

different than it is.

Sing. Pray. Touch only those

to whom you commit your life.

Center down.

 

And when your body has become still,

reach out with your heart.

Know that we are connected

in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.

(You could hardly deny it now.)

Know that our lives

are in one another’s hands.

(Surely, that has come clear.)

Do not reach out your hands.

Reach out your heart.

Reach out your words.

Reach out all the tendrils

of compassion that move, invisibly,

where we cannot touch.

 

Promise this world your love–

for better or for worse,

in sickness and in health,

so long as we all shall live.