Rituals

We all have individual rituals. If I miss my morning coffee ritual, which doesn’t happen often, my whole day is thrown off. I have a couple friend, who take a nap every afternoon for 15 minutes with the timer set. Another friend, does yoga daily. We now have the ritual of picking out the perfect face mask for the store outing. All of these help us feel grounded and add to our individuality.

Then there are the collective rituals; weddings, birthdays, bat mitzvahs, baby showers, graduations, baptisms, cheering on a sports team, dancing at a concert, Friday prayers and funerals to name a few. In participating in these, we bond, we are allowed to express emotions in socially acceptable ways. We can feel relief, inspired, connected and full of love sometimes during rituals. All these rituals will come back and certainly some new ones are being created at this moment. I’ve had a couple of 6  feet apart lunches outdoors with a friend. That’s a new one. Zoom conversations and workshops.

A few years ago, I became estranged from my daughter and grandchildren. It’s been a lonely grief process at times. Aside from my friends, who have held me, listened, and loved me. I certainly felt at a loss for an appropriate way to express my emotions at times. It’s not the kind of grief that is talked about often. Shame can be a hinderance. I was going to join a grief group once, however was told that since no one had died I couldn’t join in. Understandable, but where do I put this grief? It’s not the kind of loss that is talked about often. I feel for those who have lost a loved one to Covid19. I hear stories of virtual funerals. Meantime, they need a hug.

This poem from my collection: Snippets on Estrangement

I Need a Funeral

I need a funeral
Bring food and flowers
Hold me
Cry with me
Tell stories of those we love

No one has died
But they are missing
May never be seen again

 

Photo credit, Fscott images, ritual gathering for sea turtle release.

 

Wildlife Film Festival

Wanted to put a plug in for the International Wildlife Film Festival. Films may be viewed virtually at:  Wildlife Films. Today and tomorrow are the last days. Many of the films can be viewed for free and donations are always appreciated.

Octopus: Making Contact , I look forward to viewing this film about Heidi, the octopus and her evolving relationship with a marine biologist and his teenage daughter. It is available on Friday, April 25th.

Happy viewing.

Offerings

Our intimate group from Marc Moss’s online storytelling workshop took some time yesterday to share some of the projects we’ve been working on during quarantine time. Katie asked for podcast recommendations, an exchange of “offerings” as her friends call it. You recommend your latest, favorite podcast, book or movie and I’ll offer you my latest.
Here I offer the list of podcasts that came out of our exchange:

Dolly Parton’s America – with Jad Abumrad, number one for the one I want to listen to. She has the gift of bringing people of all philosophies and lifestyles together enjoying themselves in-spite of their differences.

The Way I Heard It– with Mike Rowe, short mysteries for the curious mind with a short attention span.

Story Story Night– story telling podcast based in Boise, Idaho.

Snap Judegement – Mixes real stories with killer beats to produce cinematic, and dramatic radio. Hosted by Glynn Washington

The Story Collider – True personal stories about science. Liz Neeley, executive director.

Radio Lab – investigating a strange world, making science accessible to broad audiences, with Jad Abumrad.

The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo –  “The Memory Palace podcast is among the most potent pieces of audio being produced today; the show’s short tales are so emotionally concentrated that, upon listening, they bloom in the space between one’s ears, like a single drop of dye propagating through an entire glass of water. Nate DiMeo, the show’s sole creative force, often seems to be operating on a level wholly separate from that of other podcasts”

Everything Is Alive – Jennifer Mills produces Everything is Alive by looking all over the world for objects that are willing to speak. “Poignant, touching and at times laugh-out-loud funny examinations of the human condition…prepare to think deeply about yourself, to laugh and at times, cry.”
–BBC

This American Life – with Ira Glass. This American Life is a weekly public radio program and podcast. Each week we choose a theme and put together different kinds of stories on that theme.

In The Dark – An investigative podcast, hosted by Madeleine Baran, that has examined the cases of Jacob Wetterling and Curtis Flowers. Now reporting on the effects of COVID-19 in the Mississippi Delta.

Happy listening everyone.

Excited!

Excited! Now there is a word I have not used or heard much, as of the last few weeks, much less felt it.
I haven’t been excited we are in a pandemic, that people are suffering and grieving in more ways than one.
I’m not excited that I am unable to get together with friends; that the Prince themed birthday party my birthday twin, Jen, and I have been planning for June 7th will not be happening.  She, Prince and I were all born on June 7th.

Today, I am excited about a couple of things. First, I took part in Marc Moss’s first virtual Tell Us Something storytelling workshop this morning. He will probably do more workshops. If it appeals to you, I highly recommend it. What a wonderful way to connect and ignite storytelling during this time.

Also, I signed up for When we all vote couch party this afternoon. Michelle Obama will be hosting. I can wait to see and hear her. It will be a breath of fresh air.
Join our #CouchParty 2.0 to come together with the When We All Vote community and our Co-Chair Michelle Obama to talk about how we can continue to make a difference to help safely register and turn out our communities to vote.

Resilience

Resilience is knowing the wrongs you have done and taking responsibility for them.

resilience is wanting to call someone you know you shouldn’t, and not calling them.
it’s calling a friend instead

It’s giving space, it’s loving from afar.

It’s finding a need someone has and fulfilling that need.

It’s creating something beautiful in spite of, or because of the pain.

Sometimes, it’s just taking a nap.

It’s the emotional strength it takes to carry on, using tools you didn’t realize you had.

It’s trying something new, not being afraid even though you are shaking inside.

It’s accepting what is.

It’s changing what needs to be changed.

It’s fighting for this thing called life.
Frances Scott

 

 

Days Like This

Days Like This

Some days, we just have one of those days. Today is one of those days. Not sure what to do with myself, shedding a few tears, eating, bathing, sitting out in the sun, tearing pages from National Geographic , looking forward to nightfall and my new favorite BBC series, Scott & Bailey .

Meantime, I’ll share a poem that resonated:

Personal by Tony Hoagland

Don’t take it personal, they said:

but I did, I took it quite personal—-

the breeze and the river and the color of the fields :
the price of grapefruit and stamps,

the wet hair of women in the rain—
And I cursed what hurt me

and I praised what gave me joy,
the most simple-minded of possible responses.

The government reminded me of my father,
with it’s deafness and its laws,

and the weather reminded me of my mom,
with her tropical squalls.

Enjoy it while you can, they said of Happiness
Think first, they said of Talk

Get over it, they said

at the School of Broken Hearts

but I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’t
believe in the clean break;

I believe in the compound fracture
served with a sauce of dirty regret,

I believe in saying it all
and taking it all back

and saying it again for good measure
while the air fills up with I’m-Sorries

like wheeling birds

and the trees look seasick in the wind.

Oh life! Can you blame me
for making a scene?

You were the yellow caboose, the moon
disappearing over a ridge of a cloud.

I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;
barking and barking:

trying to convince everything else
to take it personal too.