Emotional storm

Angel

Last week Barry asked if I might ride with him to a couple of local cemeteries.  He wanted to take Memorial Day pictures for his job at the newspaper.

Sure, I said.  Let me grab my camera, too.

First we drove to the Aura Cemetery.  Then we motored on over to the Pequaming Cemetery.  The sun shone, a few clouds danced above, temperatures felt warm.  A beautiful spring day in the Upper Peninsula.

My mood felt light and happy.  A good day to be alive.

Cemetery

Cemeteries can be fascinating, don’t you think?  Especially the old ones, with crumbling massive moss-decorated stones.  Each headstone tells the story of a life.  We know little about these elders, these grandmas and grandpas, except maybe their birth and death dates.  We don’t know about their personalities, their dreams, their desires, the mistakes they made, their gifts.

We know practically nothing about the baby who died at less than a year, or the nine year old, or the 30 year old man.  We must rely on imagination to fill in the gaps.  You died in childbirth, you died singing Happy Birthday to your grandson, you died in your sleep.  You, you and you died of a virus that swept across the country like a raging storm taking strong and weak alike.  You didn’t believe the virus would take you and maybe it didn’t.  But I have seen a gravestone that pronounced the deaths of an entire family, every single one of them.  The neighbors, untouched by fate or genes or luck, dug the many graves.

Mary

I like looking at the religious symbols and pictures and statues near the graves.  They tell stories of faith and love and grace.  Something larger than viruses and famines and logging accidents and old age.  Something that provides our human fallibility with hope and calm and even joy.

A heart in the center of us that celebrates mercy in the midst of a world where we’re all designed to die.

Jesus

This is not an entirely cheerful post.  I have experienced a very rough three days.  On Thursday my happiness bubble simply burst.  I awoke sad about so many things.  Death, yes.  Virus, yes.  But also desperately sad about so many people fighting and arguing and carrying on.

Part of me suddenly felt furious with family and friends who had their own differing opinions–and loudly proclaimed them on Facebook.  A woman I like very much offered her opinion that everyone wearing a mask in the grocery store was afraid. She said no one met her eyes; the mask wearers were living frightened lives.

Afraid?  Afraid?  I bubbled up like a lava lamp, ready to explode through the glass.  “I am wearing a mask because I LOVE humanity.  Because I am taking this virus seriously.  Because it’s about protecting the weak, the vulnerable, those with lowered immunity.  I am not wearing a mask because I am afraid!”  (But what if a person is afraid?  Why should they be shamed?  There is so much unconscious fear in those who do not wear masks–fear of appearing vulnerable, fear of feeling fear itself.)

I wear the mask as a symbol of love, of spirit, of connection to my fellow humans.

Some day, when it feels right in my gut, when the statistics show a decline, I will take off the mask.  Both actions can be seen as acts of love.

Oak sprouts

Sprouting acorn in cemetery

Then I walked into the Holiday gas station in L’Anse.  The cashiers wore masks but not a single other person–all fifteen of them–wore a mask except for me.  I suddenly felt like a Muslim woman in hijab.  A minority.  Perhaps even judged and labeled.

I walked back to the car and burst into tears.  Hot, blinding tears.  I cried most of the way up to Houghton, pulling over twice to wipe eyes and blow nose.  Tears for me.  Tears for you.  Tears for the almost 100,000 Coronavirus graves in the United States in less than three months.  Tears for those who don’t believe the statistics.  Tears for those with conspiracy theories.  Tears for all of us who have had our world blown wide open into a place where an invisible virus picks and chooses its next host or hostess.

Buds

Three days of emotional pain followed this crying storm. My daughter and I decided to take a vacation off Facebook until at least next Tuesday.  I couldn’t see left or right.  Couldn’t make my way back to center.  Couldn’t find faith, the larger picture, the Higher Self, whatever you want to call it.

Until this morning.

Blossom

This morning I awoke feeling calm.  Hopeful.  Compassionate toward those who think and feel differently.  As if the emotional storm cleared away old debris.  As if it allowed more love to surface.

I don’t know if it will last. Wondering if you’ve experienced any emotional storms and how you’re faring these days? Wondering if you’ve been able to circle through the pain back into peace and greater love?  And if not–mercy on us humans.  It can be so very hard to be human some days, can it not?

 

Kathy

Needing a haircut!

 

 

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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67 Responses to Emotional storm

  1. dorannrule says:

    It is a wonderful truth that we can experience joy in the midst of horror. Your post shows the connection beautifully. Thankyou for sharing.

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you, Dor. So many feelings arising for so many of us. From joy to utter pain. Glad this succeeded in kinda describing this. Thank YOU for reading!

  2. Carol says:

    Oh yes! Exactly! I went through that a couple of weeks ago, and those feeling resulted in the “That She Blows” post (https://cjvl.wordpress.com/2020/05/11/thar-she-blows/). I had reached a point where I could no longer contain myself, could no longer keep the rage, the sadness, the hopelessness at bay. Chamomile tea and ocean sounds courtesy of Alexa ultimately calmed me down, and now I am practicing ignorance. Until it builds up to an explosion point again.

    • Kathy says:

      I guess we’re not in this alone, Carol. I think maybe we’re all taking turns feeling different degrees of sadness, outrage, despair. Chamomile tea is the best! (That’s what I was drinking, too.) Had a couple of really good talks that helped. Getting off Facebook until Tuesday has been the biggest godsend. Every time I would read certain opinions the anger would start churning. It feels–almost–like I could read dissenting opinions without losing it again. But that remains to be seen.

  3. Stacy says:

    It is very difficult to be human. I have felt this way my whole life. So many injustices. So many injuries – intentional or random, doesn’t matter. I believe some – a handful of people I have known have found a permanent joy in being human. This evades me, but I don’t give up. It comes in waves, as you said about your three difficult days followed by a peace. Blessings to you, Kathy. May your peace endure. XOXO

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy, I am wondering whether it’s even possible to find a permanent joy in being human. I do have one spiritual teacher who seems to embody this more than most. For me it’s quite a bit of happiness but also times of suffering betwixt and between. Have been learning to have mercy on myself during these times, especially in the last couple of years. xoxoxo back atcha.

  4. You know I find cemeteries fascinating for all of the reasons you mention. In January I found a cemetery where three of my ancestors were buried in the winter of 1711-1712, victims of a ‘malignant distemper’ epidemic that went through Connecticut. Little did I know that I would soon be living through a new epidemic just a couple of months later.

    I can relate to the emotional storm you’re coping with. It’s so frustrating trying to figure out why all of us humans are not on the same page! I find myself crying with an aching heart quite often. It makes me wonder if people have always disagreed about how to behave during epidemics?

    Wearing your mask IS a symbol of love, spirit and connection. You’re protecting other people. Scientists think perhaps 1/3 of people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic. People who don’t wear a mask are indicating they don’t care about the health and well-being of their fellow citizens.

    This brings to mind the many times my parents drove home a lesson about living in a free country, which we were taught was a privilege. Countless times they admonished us that our freedom ends where another’s begins. They gave us the example of us not being ‘free’ to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no fire. The resulting stampede could cause loss of lives. We are not ‘free’ to infect other people! Shame on those who refuse to wear a mask in public.

    Yes, it can be very hard to be human some days. Thank you for sharing your pain and your return to calm. I feel it, too. Perhaps the pain and calm is like the ebb and flow of the tide.

    • Kathy says:

      Barbara, thank you for replying so thoroughly. First, it’s amazing that you know about your ancestors who died in 1711-12 of an epidemic, and that you found their grave. And yes, I do believe that people have disagreed about the nature of pandemics for time immemorial. I have read diaries and newspaper reports with people squabbling, bickering, and denying the reality of epidemics. The one 1918 sounds so eerily similar to this one in that the stories seem so similar. Some people saying it’s a conspiracy, others denying its reality, others blaming the government for locking down, and others wanting to get the economy restarted no matter what the cost in lives.

      Thanks for relating to both the emotional storms and the wearing of masks as an act of love. Sounds like your parents taught you well about caring for the collective.

      I also like your analogy to the ebb and flow of the tide. I think moods are kind of like this. Blessings to you as you go through these challenging days.

      • Thanks, Kathy, for reminding me that the current human reactions to the pandemic are not new. Like my father used to say, quoting Dickens, “‘Twas ever thus.”

        • Kathy says:

          “Twas ever thus.” Do you ever get the feeling that we’ve been sleeping in some privileged state and suddenly awakening to a sense that the world has always been “thus” and it’s only now being seen?

          • Yes. I keep thinking, how did I not notice all this before when it’s been right in front of me the whole time? It’s unsettling to suddenly realize how oblivious, unaware and unconcerned some of us have been…

  5. Larissa says:

    Ooh, I love cemeteries! There is a little one within walking distance of my house, and I have lived here long enough to remember the stories behind some of the names. Once in a blue moon, I walk up there and leave pebbles on a few headstones.

    As you’ve probably noticed, I experience emotional storms pretty regularly. Being human is a perplexity.

    You can “snooze” people on Facebook for 30 days. I do it a lot, and it helps me feel more sane. If I get curious about how they’re doing, I can always take a few deep breaths and peek at their timeline. Then I go right back to mostly ignoring them for a while.

    • Kathy says:

      That is so sweet, the leaving of pebbles on headstones. I like imagining you doing that. Because you said “once in a blue moon” my mind is picturing blue pebbles on the graves, although that’s probably not true.

      Yes, a perplexity. I think it’s because we contain multitudes (smile) as in the last blog post.

      As to snoozing FB folks, part of me often wants to do so. But then another part steps in to insist that I need to know what’s going on. Have been contemplating how it’s often my inner reactions that cause the suffering even more than the outer people. What you’ve said that seems the most significant right now is the deep breaths. When I look at posts from a place of calmness then the strong reactivity doesn’t always arise. I want to learn to do that better.

      P.S. You may have noticed I love responding to comments. It always feels like the commenters are sitting here in the living room and it’s beautiful to have a conversation. When the words dry up I wait until they come again. Happy Monday, Larissa!

      • Larissa says:

        If we were making a movie, the pebbles would definitely be blue. And they might glow in the dark! But in real life, the pebbles are greyish brownish pebbly colors.

        Learning to be breathe and less reactive is a worthy goal, and Facebook actually seems like a great place to practice. I wish you much success! Happy Monday to you, Kathy!

  6. debyemm says:

    I almost don’t know what to say except I get it. Sigh. And I try to be respectful and considerate but honest with those who don’t believe, don’t want to and have decided to make what should be a health decision – with some room for variance (it is voluntary) for those with some kind of special situation – into a culture war. It so didn’t have to be this.

    • Kathy says:

      Good morning, Deb. Sigh back. It didn’t have to be this, and yet here we are. Thank you for getting it. It seems like a lot of us find ourselves in this position periodically. I am a stats person so keep close tabs on the numbers. Some people say the numbers are over-reported; others claim under-reported. I figure between the over and under they may be somewhere in the ballpark. We can’t stop living and breathing, but it feels like caution is in order. Not necessarily fear, but wise discernment.

      • debyemm says:

        Not to blame you, but after I read this, I went into a blue melancholy mood. That is because it touched a nerve I try not to dwell too much on though I am very aware of the reality. So I guess I just needed to process some of that sadness. I believe the underreported perspective. I know 5 situations (some one person, some more than one in a family) in 5 different states now that are definitely NOT in the statistics. If this was just the US, I could believe a malicious agenda but it is worldwide and BAD everywhere. That convinces me. NOT afraid really. From day one I have reassured my husband that my gut instinct is that I will NOT become infected. But I am not arrogant about that and do take precautions and I do know that I have a higher than average likelihood of dying if I do get infected and that is highly motivational to do what I can to protect myself. I also like contributing, doing my part, for the common good and I appreciate and respect the grocery workers putting their lives on the line so I can feed my family. When it feels safe to me on my own basis of that judgement, I will gladly abandon the precautions but will be wary for this is probably not the last one that will come along as history teaches us quite plainly.

        • Kathy says:

          Deb, it sounds like we think similarly. I know how easy it is to be pulled into melancholy at times, so am sorry about your low mood. Although, I also agree–sometimes it just feels necessary to allow the sadness to process through our system. Otherwise we’re possibly living in a bubble of too much optimism (of which I am sometimes guilty). One reason I wanted to write this sadder post is because it feels important to recognize and name some of the grief that is moving through now. By bringing it to consciousness perhaps it will help heal. Hoping always that you and your family remain healthy. And am actually looking forward to returning to FB tomorrow!

          • debyemm says:

            I agree with you that it is important to RECOGNIZE and name the grief that is moving throughout the planet now. Hoping that it does somehow help it to heal. I am a healer at heart, this I know. Happy to “see” you at FB today.

  7. Susan D. Durham says:

    Thank you for posting this, Kathy. You are brave and amazing! I love this whole piece, and was so struck by your observation of the unconscious fear of the non-mask wearers. Yes, who is scared? Interesting. Not saying that the non-wearers are the fearful ones. There are truly scared people on both ends of the spectrum. Yet, it wouldn’t be necessary to scorn mask wearers unless there was something going on within the non-wearers’ psyches. I look forward to reaching the place of peace on a more consistent level. I am a roller coaster still. It’s just too in my face (okay, kinda a pun) in my situation. I also still make the same eye contact with others while mask clad that I do when I’m mask free. My wearing a mask does not infringe on anyone’s rights or freedoms, last I checked. Oh, I’m going to endlessly babble if I don’t stop. So, again, Thank You! Thank You! 💜

    • Kathy says:

      Susan D, I do love it when you babble on–except I never think of it as babbling. *smile* Thank you for that bravery sentence. I am trying to be more brave, sharing more vulnerability at times. It does feel like there is a vibration of fear among *some* non-mask wearers that is very unconscious. And, yes, that roller coaster, and that desire to reach more of a peace or acceptance. We’ll have to hold each other’s hands through this, and continue to meet the eyes of all human beings. xoxoxo

  8. sherrysescape says:

    Thank-you, Kathy. As usual, you capture the heart of the matter – yes, I have struggled emotionally. Yes, I am afraid – of bringing this virus home to my high-risk husband. Yes, I get angry when people don’t get it and seem so selfishly intent on their own personal “freedoms” to the exclusion of heart. And I appreciate you pointing out the fear in those who don’t wear a mask. I have had a difficult time putting myself in their shoes and I need to. Thank-you. This will be behind us one day, hopefully soon.

    • Kathy says:

      Sherry, I see you being very cautious and caring about your husband’s health. I see your big heart caring for so many. Thank you for being you, and for being in this neck of the woods, as well. I keep trying to put myself in the shoes of those who think differently, too. (And then I don’t for awhile.) And then sometimes I try to feel a person’s spirit shining through from underneath all the thoughts and beliefs and opinions. In that place there feels like there is only love. I guess the key is to learn how to more consistently access that place of love or God and to be able to drop into it in order to feel/see a larger picture when needed.

  9. dawnkinster says:

    I love old cemeteries too. I wander, make up stories about the families, wonder about some people, pause near the children. And as for the emotional toll this pandemic has taken on me. Well, it, along with the election of this president, has shown me sides to people I thought I knew that shock me. And discourage me. And make me really sad. On FB now I try not to read too much that is pandemic or #45 related. On either side. And since we’re staying home, life for us isn’t that much different than it was before. So sometimes I can almost forget this chaos is going on. Almost. I don’t necessarily advise being as ignorant as I sometimes am about what is currently happening, but it does help to avoid the highs and lows. On the other hand, I heard a bit of today’s news that we’ve reached 100,000 dead in the US. In 3 months. If that number doesn’t stop people and make them think, I don’t know what will. But the reality is, for some people, it won’t. They aren’t going to change their minds about this or anything else. They are entrenched. I guess I am too. Staying at home and not turning on the TV, not reading much online, and not talking to people is keeping me sane. But it’s sad. Oh…and I too still smile with my eyes when I’m at the grocery store every two weeks. Most people smile back. So if the woman who said everyone is afraid and no one smiles any more would just smile herself, maybe she’ll start something good in her community.

    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, it’s interesting what it takes to keep us sane. And that seems to keep changing for me. One minute I’m having a blast on Facebook and the next minute down some political or social rabbit hole. Trying not be entrenched, but seeing clearer the ways that parts of me are. One reason I don’t share political posts too much is that I’ve read that people don’t change their opinions. We think and feel what we think and feel, and that’s it. Glad to hear you’re smiling with your eyes in the grocery store. Me too. And shopping up in Houghton and Hancock because it feels more cautious up there. Hope you have a good Monday!

  10. jessicathepixellator says:

    Yes, I’ve felt it. I haven’t had the long outpouring of tears but I’ve had short bursts of crying and frustration. This week was tough because a man confronted me for wearing a mask while walking my dog. He spoke about claiming his right to freedom. He values his freedom and it is time to get back to normal, he says. I argued with him there on the sidewalk, and now that I know who he is I can’t talk to him the same lighthearted way I used to for these past five years I’ve lived here. The virus is politicized now, and people will show you who they are. At least now I know who is who.

    • Kathy says:

      Oh, Jessica, I am really sorry you had that encounter. It really must have been tough, to be confronted for wearing a mask. That’s what hurts for me–not being able to be lighthearted and loving and joyful with some people because we are so polarized in our viewpoints. Trying to figure out a way to still be able to do that, even though we think so differently. So nice to see you, really! Blessings and health to you and your family…

  11. Elin England says:

    This certainly is a time of many emotional storms. It is like all human reactions and emotions and thought processes are being amplified and exposed, things that have been brewing just under the surface have been brought to light. I too have grown weary of the endless debates about the virus and what is the right thing to do and how to control it and who is doing the wrong thing and so on and so forth. The amount of anger and vicissitude saddens me. I see increasing amounts of divisiveness and anger, fear and retribution. What I also see is that nobody REALLY knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, what is the best thing to do, how to stop the virus, how to prevent death and illness. And nobody REALLY knows what will happen in the future. Here in Lane County, we have a very low rate of illness – only 67 confirmed cases, and only 2 deaths. I don’t have a TV and choose not to watch much of the news online, but I hear about places like NYC where the reality of the pandemic is completely different than what I am experiencing. I can understand the fear that people living in those places experience. I would too. But I personally have not experienced fear, or at least I have not felt fear of catching the virus. Fear of what the economic disruption will bring, yes. Worry about what the long term social effects of this on children will be, yes. I sometimes feel like I should be more afraid, and wonder if there is something wrong with me that I don’t. But there we are. My personal experience, which is the only reality that I can speak from, is that this is the richest, most savory spring that I have experienced in a very long time. Not that it has been trouble free, or worry free, or complete and utter bliss. But it has been a period of much growth and introspection, time for reading and contemplation where usually that is restricted to the weekend, opportunities to be outside and drink fully the dance of the season where I usually must be satisfied with a sip. We have opened our garden to two neighboring families with 9 kids between them, and the blooming of these relationships is nothing short of mind blowing. I feel lifted, and gladdened, and blessed. Is that wrong to feel when so many others are suffering? I hope not. Because when I die, which I will, maybe 40 days from now, maybe 40 years from now, I will not regret this spring one iota. I wish that I could gather up everyone I know who is suffering and tuck them under my mama chicken wings, hold them close, and keep them warm until the sun comes out and it is safe. You would be in there too, my dear. I can’t, though. I just have to trust that as per usual, life is handing each of us exactly the lessons that we need to learn right now. It always comes back to trust and let go, doesn’t it?

    • Kathy says:

      Elin, I just fortunately discovered your amazing and beautiful and thoughtful comment buried deep in the WordPress spam folder. Thank goodness it was recovered because I enjoyed reading this so much this morning. You are so right–we have no clue at all about what is going to happen. That is really so much of the emotional storm, the not-knowing. However, you have also pointed out the gifts and beauties of this Covid Spring. I, too, have had so many blessings. When I look at the whole winter/spring it seems like the majority of days have been filled with (yes) happiness, joy and peace. There have been two or three emotional storms that have come with thunder and lightning to my inner system, but the latest one birthed so much creativity and delight after it passed. It’s like each storm made space for more expansion. Trusting and letting go…you got that, girlfriend. Although sometimes easier said than done when the rain/tears are pouring down.

  12. Yes! I feel your pain, I understand, and I thank you for – with eloquence and mercy – giving voice to what we, in one way or another, are all feeling. Wonderfully said, as always. Take care!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, I know you’ve hit a rough patch recently as well. Thank you for your kind words about this post. I enjoyed reading yours, too–as much as we can enjoy reading melancholy posts, right? Blessings to you and your family…

  13. Cemeteries are “one of my favorite things” (hear the sounds from Sounds of Music). Even though now with my son being a part of the family cemetery, I am oft times sad, I am happy he is there with the family and I can have a conversation with all of them at the same time.

    Intellectually, I understand your pain and others expressed here. Being much older (I think) it is different for me because I am part of the population you all are trying to protect and I thank each and every one for wanting to protect us old geezers!

    Knowing that nothing is permanent except love (which Lori quite eloquently pointed out to me) which is eternal, I am not afraid. There are things I would miss…my daughter, grandsons, son-in-law and my sister; hot coffee; birds singing, gurgling sounds of water flowing over smooth pebbles which might be blue (reminds me that each time I visit Freddie’s grave, I take a rock because we always picked up rocks) and I still pick up rocks, even in my own yard; sunrises and sunsets; flowers and listening to my trees talking to the grass….

    After a storm, when I see all the dead branches down or leaves all over, I think that Nature is cleaning house. Could this be Nature’s way of cleaning house? Are some of us really not meant to live on in this world that we do not recognize any more for all the reasons that everyone has stated?

    I post a little on FB to My Store because it goes away within 24 hours. Otherwise, I read a little, if I know the person and whether they are going to rant or rage at the world. I long sense have turned off the TV and find the books of yesteryear “Good reads”. I am happier not interacting with people, never really being a people person.

    I wear a mask and smile, regardless whether people smile back, have on a mask or feel that they are immortal. Some people have not come to grips with the fact that life is a gift and they need to treasure it. I can only feel sorry for them because to soon they will learn. Sorrow and death comes knocking on every door soon enough.

    Thank you, Kathy for a thoughtful post and having this chat on your deck with my cup of tea.
    Stay well. It is through your emotions and your fear, I feel, you grow as thoughtful human beings.

    • Kathy says:

      Linda, this is a most lovely comment–thank you for taking the time to post it. It feels like a little glimpse into your day, your thoughts, your world. I am drinking tea with you now. A storm is brewing just west and north of us. We’re not certain if it will hit yet. I have also been thinking of writing a blog and showing pictures of the effects of a winter storm that hit us in November. So many trees were damaged and bent over. It is quite sad to see. We have cut some, but dozens or hundreds more are bent over. Will see if it turns into a post or not. It certainly won’t be a pretty post.

      There seems so much more peace in your spirit these days. Perhaps through all your emotions and grieving you grew, too. I know I grow through these times. I don’t usually write about them, though. Usually just discuss them with a few close friends. Am trying to share just a bit more about sad as well as happy times. I am usually quite an optimistic person but have days at the opposite end of the spectrum. Then it feels hard to write in any way that doesn’t sound confused and just sad.

      The things you listed that you’re going to miss sound beautiful. Family, nature, coffee, so many little but heartfelt moments. I am happy to help protect your health. I am very happy to have come to know you better throughout these past many years. Continued blessings…(and I like too what Lori said about love being permanent. That choked me up.)

      • Lori’s comment choked me up, too.

        I am mostly at peace. I have good days and not so good days. I write about my sorrow each night as I talk with God and Freddie. You might find it a little bit amusing because each night I have this ritual. It goes like this:

        Good night, my son.
        It’s me again God, Linda.

        Then I tell my stories; those I find I cannot yet write. My anger is gone but my soul is so often restless, ready to go home. I would like wings like an eagle and fly higher than earth. Many times I feel like I am looking down on this earth and wondering why everyone seems so angry, sad and some are just plain mean to others. A little kindness goes such a long way. Freddie really brought that home to me.
        Well, another long reply. It seems as if you have always been part of my life. Thank you.
        I am sorry about the trees and if you can write a post about the hurt and fallen ones, I would read with sorrow, more than likely. But with honor because they lived.

        • Kathy says:

          This is beautiful. It feels I can feel you–both the peace and resolution and the restlessness. I am glad we bonded over Trenary Toast. You are actually an inspiration to me. Because so much grief moved through you and you came out on the other side. It feels like perhaps you were scoured, if that makes sense. xoxoxo

          • Perfect sense. Trenary Toast…it was so good, oh so long ago. I never forgot how fun that was. We did seem to bond over that episode. I am so glad we found each other.
            ❣️

  14. Sybil E Nunn says:

    Hi Kathy, mask wearer Sybil here. This whole thing is going to be up and down for a long time and it’s not going to be easy. Keep talking and sharing. Sending you a virtual appropriately socially distanced hug.

    • Kathy says:

      Mask wearer Sybil! You crack me up! I am appreciating your virtual hug and hugging you back. This morning I am feeling good again. Just relieved, like a big storm has blown by. (Well, we did have our first thunderstorm yesterday, so maybe that is part of it.) Thank you for coming by. ❤

  15. So many questions and thoughts here. Many times I decide it’s supposed to be hard to be a human. Tests – every day is a test. But a test for what? After many years of asking this question through my long walks and yoga practice and meditation and rocking little grandbabies to sleep (because they arrive full of innocence and love and needs and I grieve that they will be put through these tests as they learn to walk and talk and ‘be human’), I come up with the idea that we’re supposed to find ‘happiness’ in the things that count: the blue sky, the birds that cavort and sing and nest near us, the giggle of children, the hot sun on our backs, the hug from a loved one, the reading of a good book, the writing of a story that just ‘comes’ to us as pen scratches on paper, the enjoyment of a spaghetti dinner, or even better, a chocolate chip ice cream cone. We are spirit. We are in a body that craves oneness. Most times that can be found in …. joy and love.
    So I ignore the ugly. People’s comments downgrading others just show how unhappy they are. How separated they are from their spirit. I breathe in and hope they can learn to find the “happy” in the ordinary, in the blessings of the little things all around us, also. And guess what? I breathe in just fine as I wear my mask anytime I’m out. xo

    • Kathy says:

      Pam, I think it’s wonderful that you’ve come to this place of finding happiness in the little things of life that turn out to be so utterly big. I so agree with you. The most ordinary of happenings in the present moment is where the heart lifts up like a butterfly’s wings toward the sun. For many years I ignored the ugly, as well (or tried to) and kept pointing back toward the positive. But there reached a point where the unresolved and repressed emotions kept pushing up anyway. So I decided to move toward the pain instead of away from it. It has been the least fun part of this spiritual journey. I make mistakes by becoming too identified with the pain. Then sometimes am able to feel it with love. It feels like the body is filled with small hurt children craving unconditional love and listening. One by one they come out with the feelings that I’ve stuffed away and demand to be heard, hugged and integrated. I don’t think everyone is called to do this, though, and it sounds like you’ve reached a place of acceptance and peace and creativity. Perhaps it’s in your writing that you give expression to the many different feelings percolating deep within. xoxoxo

      • I do know exactly what you mean. When I practice Energy Medicine and a certain energetic “button” is pushed (and I don’t understand which one or why), I can dissolve in tears. So I know we all hold our pain in different ways. The question is – how much attention should we give it? Probably just enough to acknowledge it, then smooth it over with the knowledge that we are filled with a light called Love. And yes, I think writing my stories has helped me smooth over the pain in some amazing ways. ❤

  16. Ally Bean says:

    I’ve read articles in which it is hypothesized that the people who wear the masks are frightened. I, of course, think that is nonsense. My take on this is that the people who don’t wear masks are the ones who are frightened. Change is happening fast in our society and the laggards are the ones who are having the most difficult time adapting to it. By living in denial, mask-free, they are showing me how scared they are of reality. A thought

    • Kathy says:

      That is an interesting thought indeed, Ally Bean. If that’s the case most of our small town is very afraid indeed. I guess we shall see what direction this all turns now. Blessings to you and your family, and may we both have more sound-asleep nights than wide-awake ones. *smile*

  17. Choices says:

    Beautiful writing. I can totally understand you, it’s a very hard time for you and most. Some of my friends got corona too but they recovered, thanks God. You should be proud of yourself, you have the right way of thinking. I was fighting with my fiance yesterday and since then I was crying continuously. Apart from my family it’s only him for me. And with his family I felt like I got a new family too. Then it felt like everything collapsed..He don’t trust me, my feeling and emotions. Because I talked to my best friend behind his back. He been my best friend for 17 years, but for a couple of months we had more. Then I met my boyfriend and with him we stayed friends. I told everything to my partner but he don’t trust me. I don’t know how could I make him understand that leaving my best friend for him and starting my life in a new country to be with him (where I stucked during corona, but I found my place here) should be enough proof for my love for him… He is like my male version and we are both hurt. We shouldn’t be fighting during this time.

    • Kathy says:

      Choices, I am feeling for what you’re going through. It must be so challenging to be in a new country with only your fiance (and his family) to be with. It sounds like you are having a crash course learning about each other. There can be so many hurt sides within us and you guys are getting to know what exists in a deeper level in each one of you. Being with someone 24/7 can be trying, especially if you haven’t developed a long-term relationship of trust through many situations which have tested this trust. I send you blessings that you can resolve this, and that you can continue to realize your own precious being.

      • Choices says:

        Thank you Kathy! We resolved it by now thanks God and your blessings! ☺️ Yes none of us been in this situation before, I had a relationship before but not in this Coronavirus situation what makes everything more stressful.. I wish you health and happiness too!

  18. Lori says:

    Hi Kathy, As you know, I posted about my emotional storm a couple weeks back, so I completely get how those emotions can reach a boiling point to overwhelm. I see you commented on my post today, which I’ve responded to on my blog.

    For me, the issue is not about who is right or who is wrong. It’s about division or unity. As if we don’t have enough division with race, religion, politics, now there is another reason to be divided. People who wear a mask, “good, compassionate, caring” people who don’t wear a mask, “bad, callous, uncaring.” As I asked in my post, who benefits the most from all of this division? As you’ve written before, these issues aren’t simply black or white. I’ve done my research on masks. Are you aware that not everyone can wear a mask because it’s dangerous to their current health condition (asthma, Copd, etc)? Also, I have found myself experiencing mild symptoms of hypercapnia with the mask on too long, which is a possibility from prolonged use.

    I think everyone is doing the best they can with the sometimes conflicting messages we receive.
    Most people don’t want to hurt anyone with their germs. With small exceptions, I believe in the overall goodness of humanity.

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. Sometimes it just becomes impossible to type a response until the Universe opens up and allows it. I so agree with you about the awful division among people. It feels heartbreaking. And it seems to be getting worse. My spiritual teacher said the same as you about people doing the best they can do.

      And it’s interesting that some of the division is about people wearing a mask as good compassionate people and those who don’t wear the mask as bad and callous. I am experiencing it the opposite way. People who wear the mask seen as afraid and bad and wrong, and people who don’t wear the mask as free and unafraid and good. When it doesn’t feel that way here at all. It all feels like a hodge-podge of gray, as in my previous blog. If only we could all (myself included) just allow everyone to be as they are without adding a layer of judgment and division over it. But is that possible when our consciousness is still ego-based? Sigh. Double sigh. Triple sigh.

      Oh, and yes, I am aware that some folks can’t wear masks. We have a friend who has issues with it. It doesn’t feel like it would be that healthy to wear it for prolonged periods of time, and so that’s an issue with those who have to be out in public a lot. I wear mine for about an hour a week. Don’t like it particularly, but feel like I’m being respectful and caring. Wishing you a good weekend.

      • Lori says:

        Hi Kathy. Don’t worry about not responding sooner, or even responding at all. These are tense times and conversations need to be treated delicately. I appreciate you doing just that. It was interesting to read that you found the opposite about wearing a mask. When each person has a certain view or perspective, I guess we can each take it personally. For example, if someone insists we wear masks, those who feel encumbered, and concerned about the health implications, feel personally attacked as being uncaring. If someone doesn’t wear a mask and are told it’s not necessary, they feel personally attacked as being afraid and wrong. That’s why I believe our emotions are being manipulated for further division. I’ve addressed this manipulation in a blog draft. I originally planned to post it tomorrow, but now I’m in fear for my life. The savages are saying they’re going to attack homes, and we’ve had riot activity at nearby stores. If we make it through the night, I’ll post it tomorrow or some time this week.

        Thank you for sharing your thoughtful response.

        • Kathy says:

          Lori, I like how you expressed how the different views can lead to different reactions. You stated all that so succinctly, thank you. However, I am so sad that you are in a position to fear for your life. That breaks my heart. I am surrounding you with love right now. We are so far removed from this rioting (although not really–our town of Marquette 78 miles away had protests, but not rioting). To think that people are having to ride this emotional storm along with all the other emotional storms. May you stay safe. xoxoxo

    • Choices says:

      I put on mask too but cotton mask and not for long, It’s getting really warm and you don’t get enough oxygen. And some experts says mask can do more harm than good if it’s not proper virus mask. To medical mask bacterias can go inside from the side or top and trap inside while you are sweating too which is even better for bacterial growth. So the best is social distancing or special virus masks.

  19. I read your post and thought what a shame your so called FB friend took the route of shaming folks for wearing a mask. Is she going to shame folks that wear a seat belt or those that wear a helmet when riding a bike or a motor bike? Will she shame a surgeon who wears a mask during an operation? I am not able to feel compassion for folks that shame others- no matter the deed. It is not anyone’s place to be judge and jury. I wear a mask every time I go to an open air nursery and do not give one wit if I am the only customer wearing a mask. I think folks are too complacent abut the virus but some folks are going to think what they will. Don’t let it get to you Kathy. Keep on believing in what you feel is the right thing to do. I am with you 100% and yes I wear a wear a mask because it is consideration for my fellow man. And, on a final note, yes, I am afraid to catch the damn virus and try to use every precaution.

    • Kathy says:

      You sound like my husband, Yvonne. *smile* He is very strong in his beliefs and doesn’t let the opinions of others bother him too much. He often thinks I am far too sensitive to the opinions of other people. Another friend and (I think) blog reader posted yesterday about how she’s refusing to wear a mask and that those of us wearing masks are living lives of fear. I think I need to take a prolonged break from Facebook. Stay safe, my friend!

  20. Tilly says:

    These are very scary and strange times we are living in. Anyone that says they haven’t had a moment or too like this are either telling lies or fools.

    When these emotions take over often it’s a good cry that deals with them.

    Bright blessing to you and yours.

    • Kathy says:

      I like those bright blessings, Tilly! Same to you and yours.

      Yes, it feels like a good cry is sometimes just the medicine we need.

      And honesty about our feelings seems vitally important, too. Thank you so much for sharing here. ❤

  21. Reggie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and compassion and insights with us, Kathy. Your blog is always such a beautiful place to visit, and re-connect with our inner beings in some way.

    These are strange and challenging times we are living in, and I think we all go through sooo many emotions in the course of a day or a week… – from feeling connected, spiritually guided, held, protected, soft, peaceful… all the way to feeling anxious, fearful, desperate, grieving, bewildered, lost…

    With so many people unexpectedly having lost their loved ones to this sometimes quite randomly devastating virus (it must be so painful not to be able to say goodbye and be at your beloved’s bedside when they die from this awful disease), as well as millions of people losing their jobs, their livelihoods, their homes, their sense of stability and hope for the future, I think it’s not surprising that we see such a spectrum of reactions. Some of them we can resonate with and accept, and some of them we find alarming, disconcerting or unacceptable in some way.

    Staying centred, and keeping the heart open, in the midst of all this messiness is not easy. I find it helps to be outside, in the garden, under a tree, in the sunshine, feet on the ground, birds singing and flitting from the bird baths to the bird feeder, and connecting with the natural environment in some way. The media – and the social media – are often decidedly unhelpful!

    I love coming here to your blog, Kathy. Keep writing and sharing. Sending you a long-distance virtual hug and much love.

    • Kathy says:

      Reggie, I mentioned in an email that your comment felt so centered and loving. I breathed a long deep sigh of relief just feeling your energy. Remembering again that all the emotions and messiness coming through are normal. And that there are ways to keep re-finding center in the midst of all the feelings. This morning I decided another social media break might be in order. And took out some colored pens and sat in front of a blank piece of paper and waited for a word, phrase or drawing to emerge. It felt so creative, kind of like Morning Pages or journaling, except I would wait for the words to arise and not just write from stream-of-consciousness. Really wanting to listen deeply to what’s coming from within right now. Not to necessarily keep looking at other people’s opinions but to see what is coming forth right here, right now. If that makes sense. It seems like I have been glomming on to the whole world’s opinions without centering back inside and coming from the truth within. (At times anyway.) Again, your presence here has been a gift. Thank you and may you guys stay safe and well.

Thank you for reading. May you be blessed in your life...may you find joy in the simple things...

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