A Missive to Friends & Acquaintances

At a time when social, or physical, distancing is the rule and our new "normal" is anything but, a connection here or there can alleviate some of the strangeness (and perhaps loneliness) of it all. This is my small way of creating a connection. Hope you like it.


Love. With a side of chocolate. By CH


Hi Everyone! I hope you, your family, and your friends have been keeping healthy and well. For the last few weeks, I've been thinking about ways to say hello and to just communicate my wishes to you all. It is an incredibly strange time for us all, one full of uncertainty and unexpected challenges, yet somehow, we find a way to move forward. For me, one of those ways is seeking that which feeds my soul and sharing them.


So here we are.


Many years ago, a friend told me that I should write a blog. At that time, I said that I didn't have anything important to say, and I didn't want to clutter up the blogosphere. Well, here's an update:


I still don't have anything important to say.


As in, nothing that will enlighten people or move the world. But the one thing I am able to do is share my irreverence, my observations, and the bits of magic I encounter that brighten my days. Even the thought of a moniker for my missives brought a smile to my face:


  • The Corona Chronicles: Dispatches from the Homefront

  • The Pandemic Post

  • The COVID Confidential


(Note: This in no way reflects my thoughts regarding the gravity of our times. For many, these are frightening times - some may be experiencing or have loved ones or friends facing the disease, others are confronted with the reality of economic hardship due to the pandemic, and the awareness of the unpredictability of the times, coupled with the understanding that all of this is not a short-term proposition, all add up to an existence that is scary, potentially traumatic, and destabilizing. I want to be clear in conveying that levity here is intended to be a means of coping with the stress of our circumstances. For my friends who are healthcare workers on the frontlines of this battle, you have my awe, my respect, and my ardent wishes for your ongoing good health, and I wish you and your families strength during these extraordinary times.)


So, what are these bits of magic that feed my soul? Aside from the obvious, like donuts, french fries, potato chips, and my kids, there are a few things that help "fill up my bucket" (aahh, remember that phrase from those simple days of kindergarten?). Here they are:


Wonder


"Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious." - Stephen Hawking

I am not a religious person. I may be called a heathen in some circles. But ... I like to believe that there is definitely something or someone (or a bunch of someones) greater than us all. How else can one explain the mind-blowing wonders of our world? Also, within each one of us, there is the potential to amaze. May not happen for a long time for some (ahem...), but given the opportunity, some people have blown us away with some pretty spectacular feats. Here is my dose of wonder for the day:


The Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand. Photo by Sina Brendel.


Those are glowworms! Glowworms!! Arachnocampa luminosa, a fungus gnat that produces a blue-green bioluminescence - a chemical reaction that produces light within its body ... how fantastic is that?? Check out the time-lapse video of this - it is wondrous. That this exists, that people can experience it, that the photograph and video were shared for all to see so that we can experience its wonder (albeit vicariously), all make me believe that there is magic out there that is independent of the hardships of daily life, but complements this life by inspiring us to believe that there is so much more, and hence motivates us to forge on. The world is a beautiful place. Sometimes I have to remind myself to turn down the volume of daily life to remember that.


Wisdom (From Knowledge Gained)


I came across this infographic and I dig it. Facts and context - yay! Numbers alone don't mean as much without context. And without context, not a lot of understanding can happen. Check out this infographic and its site - I know, sounds a bit geeky, but Visual Capitalist does put out some impressive stuff that makes me understand just a bit more about the world.




The History of Pandemics, 2020. #VisualCapitalist


(A small note: There is a lot of stuff out there about the #COVID_19 #pandemic - some informative, and some dangerously misleading. If you're not getting your information from official provincial, federal, or global health authorities like the WHO, and are trying to keep abreast of all the news that surrounds us 24/7, consider checking your sources for bias.)


I'm a huge fan of infographics that are backed by robust data and displayed in a visually compelling way. So much easier to comprehend than numbers in a table! There's much more satisfaction in understanding something than in memorizing a bunch of numbers or facts. "Aha moments" come in various forms - for me, this is one of them.


Laughter


"I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh." ― Maya Angelou

No sense of humour? You can't be my friend. Period. That doesn't mean you need to be able to tell a good joke (a talent that I sadly do not possess but do greatly admire), but you definitely need to be able to appreciate some of the absurdities of life. I wasted too much time in my youth being serious (who, me? Serious? Um, yeah. Painfully serious...), and I am thankful that I now share an irreverent sense of humour with my kids. I still do need to remind myself to be less serious at times, but if I come across something that is fun or funny, I won't hold back - laughing does my soul a lot of good.


My sister shared this video with me. Oh my goodness. HI - LAR - EEOUS. Watch, then read the comments below it. The visual is more than enough to tickle your funny bone, but the comments are just PURE GOLD.



Smooth moves from the 2007 Mid-West

Freestyle Canoe Competition


Last Words


I hope this was a bit of a fun diversion for you - it was a bit nostalgic for me, cobbling this together, thinking about missives of the olden days when I was a parent rep. This is just my way of letting you know that I'm thinking of you all and hoping that you're all good. (Plus, it looks a lot better than a generic email...) Don't know if I'll be doing this regularly, maybe when I'm inspired, therefore don't expect too much. If some of you would like to hear from me again, drop me a line, and let me know how you're doing.


Before I sign off, I would like to give a shout-out to the teachers we love, past and present, for helping our kids navigate these strange times by providing some sense of consistency and constancy, to family and friends who continue to work because their essential services are so necessary to keep the rest of us going, to the friends who help keep us sane (hello to my Pandemic Humour Support Group!), and to families, both birth and chosen, who show their love with intermittent welfare checks. Just joking. You know who you are. All of you help keep this ship afloat, for which I am so thankful. On that note, I'll leave you with one final bit that feeds my soul - some of you may have already seen this but that moment of "Awwww 🥰" that reminds me of what's true in the world just fills my heart (and I love that my kids were just as moved by it). Get your box of tissues!



Cutie patootie. Sigh.



Until next time,

・C・

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