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Apr 08, 2020
I wanted to shoot the super moon last night but I don't think that falls under the governor's order about leaving home only for "essential services," no matter how essential it feels to me.
I woke up early and walked outside in the dark to look for the moon but it was cloudy and overcast so I'm not sure I would have been able to get moon photos even if I could have gone out.
Is anyone else having trouble focusing?
I'm working every day, looking for more writing opportunities and keeping up with my website for when this all blows over. I'm getting the feeling that it's not going to be blowing over as soon as any of us would like.
I find myself jumping from one thing to the next and back. That's not an especially new problem for me but I notice it's worse right now.
I'm keeping up with my morning meditation but I'm also taking little gratitude breaks - sitting for 5-10 minutes thinking about all the things for which I'm grateful. It helps.
I'm worried about what I'll do if social distancing and staying at home goes another five months, but I'm much more worried about the overall economic impact on those already living at the margins and in poverty around the world.
Quantitative easing, bailouts, loans...I have a sneaking suspicion that at the end of this, the rich get richer and the poor are going to be poorer than they've ever been in our lifetimes.
How are we going to help?
What can we, as individuals, do, especially if we're struggling ourselves?
I don't have any good answers but I know they'll come. I'm staying open to whatever I can do to help while looking for new ways of making an income if this thing drags on.
People are inventive. It'll be interesting to see the many new things that come out of this.
Look for the new fashion trend concerning face masks.
I read an article on medium.com a couple of days ago in which a woman lamented angrily that her 9-year-old daughter and those of her generation will be forever scarred and damaged because they grew up under the "social anxiety" of having Trump as president, along with the stress of climate change, and now COVID-19.
I think this woman needs a history lesson.
Life has always been challenging for the vast majority of the world. If her 9-year-old has anxiety over Trump and climate change, chances are she's picking that up at home, though it could be coming from school.
I thought back to when I was her daughter's age and what I was doing at the time and if I even remembered who was president. It took me a few minutes of thinking back and then...
"Ooooooh ya!" Nixon.
The summer I was 9, we were in the process of moving back to California from Massachusetts.
My dad had been on what he called a two-year "extended business trip" working at MIT.
My brother and I made the long drive from Boston to Southern California with my dad. My sister was a baby and flew back with my mom.
I don't remember my dad ever listening to the news on the drive.
We drove a gold Chevy Nova and listened to the car radio all the way, singing out loud.
"A kiss for luck and we're on our way..."
I can still hear the old songs...
Every now and then on the trip, my dad would let us take turns sitting in his lap, our hands on the steering wheel while he worked the gas pedal. That was the bomb!
It also helped me because I suffered from motion sickness.
Wow - times have changed!
US politics were earth-shattering for adults at the time - Nixon resigned amidst scandal and probable impeachment, indelibly imprinting the word "Watergate" and its iterations forever in the American lexicon.
I don't remember my parents discussing it much. I don't remember hearing about it on the news. Of course, we only had one TV and no cellphones.
If it made my parents angry or anxious, they didn't transmit that to us kids.
If anything, I would have read about it. I started reading the LA Times at a young age but mostly the human interest stuff at that time.
The political anxiety may have shaped me in some subconscious way but it certainly didn't scar me for life.
Diving under our desks for earthquake drills as the teacher yelled "Drop!" made much more of an impression.
Anxiety about nuclear catastrophe was even worse. They talked about nuclear threats in school and left it up to our parents to deal with our fears.
I went to a progressive elementary school in Southern California. We called our teachers by their first names and sat in a circle on the floor or on couches during our lessons. It was a very loving environment but they definitely transmitted a few fears to us kids.
We did have desks too but I don't remember spending a lot of time sitting at them.
We were told often that we'd be lucky if the earth survived past the year 2000 because of all the pollution. We'd be overrun by garbage dumps. That scared me a lot.
At that time, there were days in Southern California when you could barely see across the street because the smog was so bad. We had smog alerts and weren't allowed out for recess some days.
That's improved dramatically thanks to the EPA. Praying we don't lose those gains.
Every generation has its crosses and crises. Some of them are the same and some are different.
What I remember most about being 9? The move back to California - I was so excited to be back with my friends.
I also remember getting myself home from school each day and looking at the checklist of chores my mom left for me on the days she had a nursing shift at the hospital.
I liked putting a big checkmark on each thing as I finished. Come to think of it, maybe this is where my love of list-making was born!
Mom would pre-make a casserole for the days she worked. Part of my checklist of chores included getting dinner into the oven and getting a salad ready for my dad to "dress" when he got home after picking my sister up from the babysitter's.
My brother would be in and out with some chores of his own.
To this day, I make a salad to go with dinner, and I dress the salad with the same olive oil, herbs, spices, and vinegar recipe my mom and dad used - passed down from my dad's Italian mom.
I never met my great-grandparents on my dad's side - not that I would have, but there was no chance since they both died from the Spanish Flu during the pandemic leaving my grandfather orphaned at 14.
It's not to say we shouldn't stress about the problems that are real to us but I do think understanding history is important for perspective. We've been living with crisis-level environmental problems and asshole politicians for a very long time.
Recognizing what's in our control and what isn't is important.
This is another reason I like traveling - it gets me outside my little bubble and shows me how people in the rest of the world live, what their problems are, what they struggle with.
This pandemic is hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime event, though the way the world is connected now is something we'll have to grapple with when it comes to the spread of disease and illness. This may be only the first of many pandemics over the coming years.
I don't know where I'm going with all this but these are the thoughts that were on my mind this morning when I sat down to write today's blog post.
I'll continue to hold out hope and look for the positive.
These types of historic events bring out the worst in people but they also bring out the best. Some people have already suffered the ultimate loss.
Our poor healthcare workers are stretched to the limits.
There will be much more suffering to come.
Some people will get through this almost untouched.
Let's do what we can to get through and help those around us.
Oddly enough, one of the best things we can do right now is to do nothing - stay at home and stay away from as many people as you can.
I'll keep looking for the rainbow after the storm.
I hope you will too.
See you between the raindrops!
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