My best friend craves the desert. My son does also. My partner comes alive in the mountains. My two other best friends have to be in the center of a huge city, surrounded by history and art.
Me? Well, I don’t know where the phrase “Happy as a clam” originated, but I must be part clam, because I am never happier than when I am on a long, flat beach, staring out into the ocean…
It’s really the way I have survived this year of lockdown and isolation.
I picture the ocean, the beaches I have loved, and the amazing lifestyle I had the pleasure of growing up in…
So when my only friends left living in my childhood stomping (well, SURFING) grounds sent me this article, I was delighted! I could FEEL this experience, with all my senses.
I hope you have a place in your mind you have been able to go to during this last tumultuous and devastating year.
Wishing you safety, health, and peace.
I am running out of things to binge-watch on Hulu and Netflix….
I’m not talking about “couch potato” binge-watching. Honest.
It’s mostly for the cat. Honest.
I recently read the perfect explanation (justification?) for my binge watching on my dear friend’s brand new blog (Lisa Chandler Jewelry)
She wrote: “…as a jewelry artist of 20+ years, I’ve never had a studio space. I’ve always created jewelry ad hoc on my lap since 1999 when I began. I like having the TV or an audiobook going in the background while I create (tell me a good story!).”
My binge watching is really binge listening. It’s background comfort and distraction noise while I am doing other things…like my covid-craft projects, or paperwork, or culling through a life-time of “stuff” in an effort to use this time wisely. Like continuing my age-appropriate down-sizing.
I sound like a hoarder…and truthfully, I guess I actually am. I save even the most unlikely scraps of memorabilia…you know, just in case. Every photograph, letter, trinket, ticket stub and card, represents something meaningful, an important memory in my life.
I blame my Grandmother. She saved everything too. Like many in her generation, who survived the (first) “Depression”, she had more rubber bands, and scraps of used tin foil than god.
When I was a child, and basically had no one else who cared about me, I would spend hours at Gramma’s feet while she did pretty much what I am doing now. And every unlikely saved item she touched had a story. Each time she threw something away, she first thoughtfully caressed it, then reverently told me why she saved it.
And the things she kept, she would carefully wrap or fold before putting in her grandmother’s beautiful, carved wooden “hope chest”. Those things elicited a less emotional and much more fact-filled explanation, her justification really for keeping them.
“This was your Great Grandmother’s bonnet. She wore this in the covered wagon trip from Missouri to Salt Lake City. This has great historical value.”
I learned from both categories of her “things”, the trash and the treasures. I learned about our family, our history, our legacy…and, these downsizing events with my grandmother helped me finally understand my Mom.
This whole preventative isolation thing has me thinking about some monumental things; like mortality, aging, and use of my remaining time here…some of it, quite frightening and very painful. I know I am not alone in this…
Thus, the needed relief of instant, focus-shifting, binge-watching in the background.
When I started this Spirit Lifters series, using the word “grounded” in my titles was because that’s what my doctor told me. She said, in her straightforward way, “you are in all the highest risk categories, not just for contracting this virus, but dying from it so if you want to survive, you are grounded for the duration”, as in “Go to your ROOM. You are GROUNDED!” (She barely meant in a humorous way.)
Anyway, I woke up this morning with the profound realization that just as Mother Nature is “culling” our species, maybe even for the planet’s survival, all of this binge-watching, and crafting, and sorting, has provided us all with the perfect background for culling through our own lives….a meaningful distraction from the existential crisis we are all facing.
So being grounded by my Doc is exactly what has worked for me to stay “grounded” and centered through easily the most terrifying time in my life…
It was during one of these paper-sorting, binge-watching times I heard this song in the background. It was on, of all things, Bones. (I told you I am running out of things to watch…) At first, I thought it was Bono singing, but it’s Starsailor, a group I barely remember from the early 2000’s. It’s a beautiful, slightly haunting piece. The melody, by association, now grounds me when I hear it…..I hope you enjoy it.
There you have it. I hope, if you have actually read all of this, you will respond with a comment. Tell me what your favorite distraction has been during our year of pandemic.
A plea from a wall-climbing, screaming extrovert, with no one to talk to!!!
Not sure if I have shared this before but it inspires me every time I watch it!
We all need this kind of determination right now!
Sound up! Breathe deeply! Enjoy!!!
(and if it doesn’t touch you, reach you, move you…Call your THERAPIST!! 😉)
I don’t do Facebook so I don’t know the protocol here. Forgive me if I am stepping on anyone’s toes. I don’t know who to credit. Not even sure this will work, and anyway, you may have already seen it.
But just in case you missed it, this definitely lifted my spirits!!
(Warning: rated R due to completely forgivable fowl language…but it IS a Cat, so there’s that…)
I hope you can skip the commercials, and enjoy it again!
You may have seen the video below. If not, well HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I meant to post it New Year’s Day but got distracted by other stuff.
And now, all I can think of is the powerful question I woke up with this last Thursday morning…the day after the…uh, insurrection at the US Capitol.
I wondered out loud if the way I was feeling…appalled, furious, disgusted, extremely critical of those selfish, insane people, was the same way my elders felt toward me in the 1960’s when I was willing to risk my life for the things I believed in so strongly…Racial Equality and ending the Vietnam war!
I had to think about that for a long time.
I concluded that violence was the difference. Back then we marched, and sat, and sang, and lobbied, and yes, I even put daisy’s in the rifle barrels of the National Guardsman trying to stop us.
So today, I am watching this Fireworks Video differently.
Each explosion is a failed gun shot, blossoming into glorious proof of the miracles in life.
Here. Try it again….
Thanks, and be safe and healthy.