Notice

So, COVID-19.

It’s enough to drive us out of our heads. I fully appreciate the need for hand sanitizer and soap and wipes and alcohol and hydrogen peroxide and pasta and rice and canned tuna and toilet tissue and and and…

We need to stock up, the experts have said, and I’ve taken them as seriously as everyone else who is freaked out by the virus, but….

Lately, against my own self-interest, I’ve ventured out of my head in a way that’s brought the number of seniors in my life into sharp focus, and I started wondering if they had enough hand sanitizer and soap and cleaning supplies and non-perishable foods and personal hygiene products to last for a couple of weeks, since I know, as I know for myself, spending time in a crowded grocery store, on line next to someone who is coughing or sneezing, would put them at risk. So, I started checking in with them.

I don’t generally like to give advice. My mother, may she rest in peace, used to say, Advice you give for nothing is worth exactly that. Judging by how many people have taken my gratis advice over the years, she had a point. But, because she also taught me the value of sharing, and being of service, I would like to offer the following…

If you have people in your lives—parents, relatives, neighbors, or friends—who are at high risk for serious infection, take a minute or two to see if they need anything. And if they do, and it’s within your power to help them get it, please do.

Thank you.

Stay well.

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Hats

I wear them when it’s cold and when it’s blazing hot. Winter hats cover my ears and brow, and summer hats shield my eyes and keep my cheeks and nose from frying and blistering.

A fedora of my husband’s was made of a straw-like mesh. He thought it would keep his head cool and wore it to a picnic. When it left a uniform pattern of pinprick burns on his face, it went into the back of the closet for a while, then disappeared.

Some hats will protect you, and others will not.

But this is what I know…

There are those who don’t like hats, and won’t wear them.

Sometimes it’s because they find hats uncomfortable, painful, even, and sometimes it’s because they don’t want their hair messed up.

What I also know is…

Hats can make statements about the people wearing them—regarding taste, for instance, or religious traditions. However, there are those who insist on imbuing deeper meanings and motives to hats. They are often the same folks who are apt to see imaginary hats on people who aren’t wearing them.

…which is to say there is way too much assuming going on about berets and bowlers and cloches and caps, and an absence of the same.

It’s enough to give a person a headache.

(With apologies to René Magritte.)

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Common Ground

The question is not being, if or to, but rather when and what or why and where and how.

If one does this instead of that, results may shift by threads, or swelling clouds of snow. But time, as lord of all, crafts here and now at whim.

And what of this is relevant? What is fluff, and what’s concrete?

A crack, a stone, a thought, a breath, the need to move, progress?

It seems the center’s gone beyond not holding to full collapse. But those corners remaining, can they sustain our weight without it?

Years ago, I saw a man on a corner far from mine. Because there was no ground between us, we got by on shallow waves, our certainties preserved by distance until one day a spot appeared no larger than a tender seed and we set our feet upon it. And from each common yes no maybe, it grew.

Soon it will be spring and time to plant. That, I think, is being; that, I think is when and what and why and where and urgently, mindfully how.

Yes.

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