Mask

We have had several cool days in August in Little Egypt.  I am inspired!  MJ has been ordering us face masks from a shop named, Art Travel Love,  and I now am the proud owner of two Starry Night masks and two, The Scream of Nature, by Edvard Munch.  

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Much has been made about our 2020 pandemic being a hoax or a political ploy that will be over once November arrives.  So, those that believe that Covid-19 is a mechanism to interfere with the presidential election attest that our entire globe is in cahoots to thwart the United States election?  I have had the opportunity to visit numerous countries and I discovered that we Americans are not the big mucky muck deal that we believe that we are!  In fact we are somewhat shunned in some areas.  

 

 

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IMG_0530 3Masks are not so bad once you become accustomed to them.  Some countries have been wearing face masks as a matter of course for many years in order to prevent the transmission of communicable disease.  I heard a true story of two hairdressers who had tested positive for Covid-19 but who had faithfully worn their masks.  When contact tracing was done it was found that none of their patrons had contracted the Coronavirus…but that their husbands and children had.  Until a vaccine is manufactured…masks and social distancing are the best that we have!

For sometime I observed that in the grocery stores or Wal-Mart there were under 50% of patrons wearing masks. Lately it appears to be nearly 100%!  A congressman recently tested positive for the virus and subsequently remarked that he thought that being forced to wear a mask in the House of Representatives had caused him to  test positive…  

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I watched a news program regarding many of our health professionals in numerous states…being harassed and threatened and subsequently being ran out of their jobs.  When our epidemiologist and virologist and scientist are ridiculed and fear for their life…we have become a country much like Nazi Germany where the educated were demeaned and the alternate reality folks were lauded.  

The 2020 pandemic is not a fictional event.  It is not going to disappear and safety will not re-appear until a vaccine is produced…and then the virus will still be with us…much as the flu has been for countless generations.  

IMG_8586 2When the wearing of seat belts law first came into effect…I did not like it.  I thought that it was an infringement on my personal liberties.  But I became accustomed to it as I saw the benefit of it and the saving of lives that resulted from it.  I understand a rebel.  I am a bit of a rebel and a skeptic and a doubter of the official party line.  I know what it is to wonder about the motives of leaders…and whether or not there is a hidden agenda.  But the wearing of masks are a good thing and a safeguard against catching a disease that can take your life.

The Struggle

I was in Morris Library today and was once again inspired by the large brass bust of our former president, Abraham Lincoln, with his Saluki face mask adoring his countenance.    

IMG_8901I was heartened to see all of the Grounds workers manicuring our lovely campus and preparing it for the beginning of the fall semester.  Indeed this is the beginning of an academic year like none of us have ever seen!  Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale affords a cornucopia of opportunity…even in the midst of our 2020 pandemic!  

So much of our lives, and our economic certainties, are balanced like the sword of Damocles over our head…with one breeze or wrong move having the potential of causing devastation.  I heard on the radio this morning that it is estimated that 16 million Hospitality industry employees will permanently loose their jobs, and that 93% of independently owned restaurants will permanently go out of business.  

 

SIUC has the unique role of being our premier higher education institution and our primary employer in Southern Illinois.  In recent months Macy’s department store, that was in our University Mall, has shut it’s doors and JC Penny’s is currently  having a going our of business sale!  This leaves no department stores in Carbondale…which is a university town.  At the time of this writing the $600 per week unemployment insurance provided by the federal government has expired…leaving millions of pandemic displaced workers immediately subject to eviction and food insecureity!  Topping off all of this bleak news is the fact that in my county the occurrence of positive cases of Covid-19 are at such a level that we have been put on a warning list by the state of Illinois.  Dr. Deborah Birks, who heads up the president’s Coronavirus task force, says that the virus is worse now across the country than it was in the spring…  It is estimated that the United States will reach 180 million deaths by the end of the month!  And…this is the month when our children return to school…

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We are in the midst of a frightening time.  We are in the midst of a time that requires a well thought out plan by our federal government rather than nonsensical platitudes or as Marie Antoinette said, ‘Let them eat cake!’  If we do not adhere to what the science tells us…we are doomed to struggle our way in the kingdom of the blind…seeking someone who can see…

IMG_9154Some politicians have said that it is better to allow the elderly to die in order to preserve our way of life…how is that working out for you?  

If life is not our paramount concern…we are diminishing our humanity and killing ourselves and our loved ones through our tribal allegiances.  Perhaps our supreme dedication to hoarding our resources and looking down on our brothers and sisters who have little to no finances…has caused the chickens to come home to roost?  For most of my life I have witnessed the value that society places on the acquiring of riches.  When someone becomes rich we assume that they are to be emulated and that they are wise and that we must be doing something wrong if we are not as rich as our neighbor?  Some religious sects have taken this dogma a step further and preached that Jesus wants his children to be rich!  Thus if you are not on the road to financial plenty…you are either not a child of God…or you are not following the formula for christian success…  We have lost community…we have become hardened and callous…or as some politicians tell us…many of our restaurant workers  will have to learn new skills…

IMG_7614I discovered at the beginning of my career at SIUC that my leadership of the Building Services department would be based on one principle…treat everyone like I wanted to be treated and the work product would take care of itself!  

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‘What You Crying About…Man?’

The rain is falling…again.  I accomplished my house cleaning chores this morning as the lady who does our cleaning has not been able to do so for 3 months.  It is comforting how easy it is for me to slip into my one time career of Building Services.  I spotted a deer family earlier.  They appeared to be as pleased to see me as I was them.  Since the virus I have seen more deer than dogs.  I wonder if they are hoping for a takeover?  

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Faith has always been a comfort to me, but now more so than ever.  The surety of a belief system is a bulwark against the tsunami of doubt.  There is more that we do not see…than what we see!  There is a spiritual dynamic that guides our lives whether we realize it or not.  Several years ago we visited Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  This was a stop on our Great Eastern Vacation.  We had already been on the constant search of how to depart the interstate so that we could enter Washington, D.C., and after an hour or more finally found the solution.  We had driven through Manhattan…more than once…and had numerous close calls!  And now we were in a parking garage and a large and loud gentleman began to admonish me…repeatedly…to leave the keys in my car and the windows down.  This sounded like he was telling me to throw caution to the wind and trust him…and I had never met him!  I did know that I did not appreciate his demeanor or his volume.  As he strode up to our automobile and I opened my door to explain to him that where I come from we are not so caviler as to leave our cars wide open to theft and pillory…he exclaimed, ‘What you crying about man?’  Immediately I considered his proposal and felt perfectly calm and did as he asked.  I thought…in an instant…that I had never been to Philadelphia before nor did I know the policies of the parking garage…and as the great sage of the 50’s and 60’s, Alfred E. Newman,  was known for saying, ‘What Me Worry.’  

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So…I wonder what I am crying about…often.  I remember MJ and I holding our sons when they were babies.  At times they would cry with a lusty and full throated vocalization.  We understood that there was no harm coming to them…but they did not.  Neither the wind-up swing nor a midnight ride in the car…nor the rhythmic dancing motion of holding them and attempting to lull them to sleep…worked.  

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There is a practical application to the teachings of Jesus that encompasses inspiration and inclusivity…and elbow grease!  Jesus fed the hungry and healed the lame and enjoyed wine at the wedding.  True Christianity has a, ‘Just the facts, Ma’am,’ approach when living out the commandments of Christ.  It is not only simple to administer…but for all of the human family.  Yet there is an unseen hand that guides us.  The next time you feel overwhelmed and among those who have no hope…look over your shoulder…you may catch a glimpse of your guardian angle…

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Our Future is Bright…If We Want It To Be?

I wrote a dystopian fable yesterday…and it scared the author.  I reread it 10 times or more and thought of deleting it…as it is not my genre.  However, I believe the fiction that I wrote could be one of a thousands of scenarios if we do not take Covid-19 seriously!  There is an old saying that you can dash your head agains a boulder and see who gives in first.  Facts are stubborn things!  They do not yield to our whims or desires or conspiracy theories.  I think that we are wedded to our customary events.  We love our sports…and are excited about the 60 game season…but the Marlins have 14 positive cases of the Coronavirus.  We want to have our holidays, which we Americans refer to as vacations, and we are not willing to change what we rightly deserve as a reward for our herculean efforts…  I have a hobby of attending the movie theatre.  It was may goal upon retirement to go to the movies at least once per week.  Until MJ retired I was attending the theatre 3 or 4 times per week!  We have a beautiful and historic church!  I am inspired just by driving by it!  I love to attend and sit in the pew and hear our choir sing and pastor Kerry preach!  The experience places me on track for the week to come!  We had the opportunity to attend Broadway productions twice.  They were such memorable experiences that I thoroughly want to replicate them…several more times!  

I have loved Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale since I was a child.  I traverse the lovely Carbondale Campus on a daily basis.  I do not take off for weekends!  I desire the success of SIUC with every fiber of my being!  

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We are in the midst of a life changing and future altering events.  We are being forced to change our expectations and seek new safe venues.  MJ and I have been watching English detective shows on Amazon and Netflix that are 2 or 3 seasons long.  I am really into it!  Our church has been having Zoom church for the past several months.  It is fun and enlightening and I have a better attendance record for Zoom than I had for physical church services…

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School is a difficult conundrum.  Many students do not eat properly if they are not attending brick and mortar school buildings where the school’s cooks prepare them both breakfast and lunch.  Most parents both have jobs to survive in todays economy.  Home schooling is a heavy burden and on-line classes are a brilliant shadow of in class instruction.  But…the discussion is life and death!  Perhaps, where possible, schedules and lifestyles must change in order to adapt to our new normal?  Perhaps our government should target money and assistance toward broadband internet access for the vital need of the education of our young and financial assistance toward the millions of Americans who are food insecure…both in the midst of our pandemic and before it occurred. 

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I have witnessed more courage during 2020 than in my entire life.  Nurses and all medical personnel work to make us well when the threat of the Grim Reaper is standing over their shoulder!  Our truckers and warehouse workers and housekeeping staff and our grocery staff have faced danger on a daily basis with no thank you….

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Many across the Earth are more united in their social distancing and separation than I have witnessed when we were shoulder to shoulder…

Our epidemiologist and virologist and scientist are working feverishly around the clock to develop a vaccine!  Billions of faith are praying non-stop for God to help his children…and to enlighten our souls with understanding…and that ever allusive substance…wisdom…

Our future is as bright as our sun, if we can calm our scrambled hearts…and wait for the peace that passes all understanding…

Sometimes we have to stand back from ourselves and study the person that we have become.  Are we the cockeyed optimist that we began as?  Or have we insatiably focused on a portion of minutiae in our lives and allowed it to force all of the joy our of our hearts?

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Five Months Until Christmas!

As they say where has the year gone!  We knew that we had enjoyed the first two decades of the 21st Century and that they had flown by.  They had been composed of joy mixed with sorrow.  But now 2020 was here and the door was open to the opportunities of our third decade in a time that we used to sing about and the preachers preached about and the Jetsons flitted about from place to place in their flying cars!  The new century was unimaginable to me…and I was born in 1957.  Until it happened I had not conceived that there was a good possibility that my life would cover parts of two centuries!  I can recall when the George Orwell book, 1984, was not only a prophecy of a dystopian future…but was well into my future!  Remember when the comic book detective Dick Tracy had the neatest screen communicator that he wore on his wrist…at least we have achieved that future shock…

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We have spent the majority of 2020 peering out our windows and hoping for a vaccine for our pandemic.  This was something that other countries suffered.  We had not seen such an event for over 100 years!  And yet it came like a thief in the night.  We first did not believe and then we believed…and then we backslid into our old familiar patterns…and then it was time for school to start again.  We discovered that out plans meant nothing…our career construct had been changed…and no matter how badly we wanted for our business or church or bar or restaurant to be reopened…the opening of the  doors to our establishment did not matter much if our customers were sick… physical church attendance seemed irrelevant if our congregants were dying…beer with others did not seem as important if our good friends from our local Pub…were dead…

As we members of the human family do…we obfuscated…  We have been told for most of my life…that smoking kills…but not me!  Obesity will shorten your life…but not mine.  Face masks and social distancing and hand washing will greatly improve our possibility of not contracting the coronavirus…but I will be all right if I refuse to wear a face mask!  It is not a virus that can take my life and the life of my loved ones…that is macabre!  It must be a political hoax thought up by the deep state…and it will all be over in November…  Denial is a balm to the frightened soul…it wears the cloak of the Grim Reaper!

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I have had some very enjoyable times, thus far, in our 2020.  Though physical distanced and separated I have felt closer to many people than ever before.  Hard times often bring out the best in us.  When we make our entrance onto life’s stage…we feel invincible!  Our performance is outstretched before us…and we are busy learning our lines…  We instinctively understand that what we have been given is rare and precious and to be relished and savored.  Then there are times like our ever fleeting 2020…and we re-understand that everything that we have and every thing that we will ever become is a gift that can evaporate in the blink of our eyes…  I think that it is time for me to look for my old Dick Tracy Watch!

 

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It is a hot and stormy day in Little Egypt.  I am seeing more face masks in Carbondale.  Southern Illinois had 100 new Covid-19 cases yesterday.  There were 23 in my county of Jackson.  As The Godfather said, ‘just when I think that I am out…they pull me back in!’  I wonder if 2020…will be the year that was not…

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I worry about the students returning to school in less than a month.  I fear for our university and the ramifications of the damage that has resulted from the pandemic.  If there was ever a time for somber and serious consideration for the health and welfare of our nation and world…it is now.  

Indeed this is the time and the season to care about each other.  To wrap ourselves in our perceived encyclopedic knowledge of what is right and wrong is a misguided method to safeguard the health and welfare of our loved ones.  

We have placed a great emphasis on knowledge…but little more than a cursory glance to developing wisdom.  For instance to disagree with someone should not be a clarion call for the verbal jousts to begin!  All of us are wrong and right…at times.  

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Planning is sketchy at best with our 2020 pandemic.  We all went about our merry way and were told, by some, that the Coronavirus was over…  Nothing could have been further from the truth!  

‘Where there is no vision, the people perish…’   Proverbs 29:18.  KJV

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I heard a doctor say that if you were told that if you took a pill that you could prevent yourself from contracting Covid-19…would you take the pill?

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There is little doubt that what we are in the midst of will affect our world for the foreseeable future.  ‘Newton’s third law is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’  

We are traveling down a long tunnel that we cannot see the end of…but we know that it is out there!  

The sun is still shining and the birds are singing and our hope for the future is bright…as long as we realize that the virus is not political…just like faith is not political!  Empathy is the key rather than the demonization of those with whom we disagree.  We each come to our opinions from our life experiences and social interaction.  Often we distrust those in authority because we have been lied to by our elected leaders.  At times we fear religion because we have witnessed people who said one thing and did another…  The fact to remember is that we are all human and subject to fault and flaw and mistake…and sin.  None of us have the corner on the truth…all of us are seeking answers.  

As the saying goes, ‘No man is an island.’  Separately we are weak and needy and looking for the light…but together we are strong and take courage and lean on each other as we make our way back to Jerusalem…

Young Eyes

It has been a busy week around the Brooks Ranch!  That is busy for an old retired guy of nearly 63 years.  First was the transformation of our front door from a ‘true black’…which is what the gentleman called the color that he painted it just after the derecho of May 2009.   The new color is Heirloom Red.  After about 4 hours of applying the red to give a good cover to the faded black…it was time to change the broken door knob.  We purchased a keypad door lock and Jonathon and I took the old off and replaced it with the new…and we are enjoying it…now that it is installed!  As I painted the door I reminisced on my first painting of the door in 2001.  We painted it red that time as well.  We wanted to paint it Presbyterian Red…but were unsure what shade that was.  Nevertheless we called the color Presbyterian Red!  So it had been 19 years since I painted the front door…

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MJ and I often laugh that we quibble about extremely small purchases…but we have no compunction in engaging in larger purchases…without batting an eye!  I have discovered that one of my keys to happiness is to train myself to see life adventures through young eyes.  Now my eyes are anything but young.  Yesterday I purchased a bottle of Folger’s Decaf Coffee…thinking that it was Nescafe!  However the adventures of day-to-day living excite me and stir my imagination!  The ability to see a deer as if it was the first time is marvelous!  Or to spot a Cardinal and wonder how come I am not fast enough to snap a photo of it…  The encompassing grandeur of the ocean and its waves and ebb and flow is new to me although I have seen it for hours on end during numerous vacations.  The pristine beauty of Maine and its hamlets and villages and lighthouses…  The life cadence of Maine and accent of the Mainers…and the rocky ocean coastline of Arcadia National Park…and the rich history of Bar Harbor…resplendent with sights and smells and tastes and colors that spill over into your soul!

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I began my retirement with the goal of increased reading, writing, and walking, for my domestic goals.  My retirement dream was to travel and all the places in our world and the United States that I had not been.  During the early years of our freedom we visited Europe 4 times.  We made annual treks to Destin, Florida and at least 4 trips to the Caribbean.  Our travel focus is once again on Maine.  Last year we spent a week in Booth Bay Harbor…returning to the state that we love after our 2 trips to Mt. Desert Isle in 2009 and 2010.  Further journeys are planned…but some times the ‘best laid plans of mice and men suddenly go awry!’  So, I am happy in whatever state that I find myself!’  

I swear that every time I set foot on the campus of Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale…I see it with young eyes!  I can think of nowhere that I feel more at home…other than my home!  Having traversed the campus for over 42 years…it is continually new to me…

I know that I am infinitely happier when I focus on the majestic miracles that surround me and less on the divisiveness of the sowers of division and the promulgators of bizarre conspiracy theories…  If this short human existence is a harbinger of the halcyon days to come…let us seek to make all things well…

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A Battle With Ourselves!

Mr. Rodgers began his television program each day with the song, ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor.’  I experience the sentiments of the song almost on a daily basis…especially in the midst of our 2020 pandemic.  We had to travel to St. Louis, Missouri for a medical check-up, that we had postponed for three months.  The people that we encountered were so mindful of wearing masks and social distancing, including Cunetto’s House of Pasta where we had dinner last Thursday.  I took great courage in the number of tables that they had closed to facilitate social distancing…and more!  We stayed at the Drury Inn and their respect for the coronavirus was exemplary.  During the breakfast Friday morning there was no self serve and the eating utensils were plastic and wrapped in plastic as was the salt and pepper.  A person at the front desk poured our coffee for us and placed a lid on each cup.  The person was behind plexiglass.  We felt as safe as you can feel in our present situation.

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It is difficult to understand what is too done for many of our necessary functions.  For instance to open our schools in a month there is a need for serious money to be spent to assist our aged education structures to be prepared for re-opening…safely.  Simply telling schools to re-open or face the withdrawal of federal funds is not only not sufficient but an insult to the educators and students that so desperately desire to be back in the classroom.  

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The majority of our states have covid-19 numbers that are spiking in a dramatic fashion.  Even Illinois numbers are moving in the wrong direction.  Many of the states that are experiencing an onslaught of coronavirus cases are those that put in place business closures  late and opened them early.  There is an old axiom that says, ‘you can cut off your nose to spite your face!’  

I was visiting with some friends the other day…and we all agreed that the pandemic is not political or religious or a restriction of free speech…  The blunt social actions that we need to follow are all the tools that we currently have in our tool box to battle this life taking disease!  It really is not about my rights or your rights or freedom of action…it is about protecting your loved ones and your neighbors against a devastating illness…

From covid-19’s inception to the present is no more than six months.  It may seem like six years…but it is not.  I shopped in our local Kroger supermarket today and I was pleased to see almost all shoppers wearing a mask.  Contrary to some of our assumption…we are not experiencing a second wave of the virus…we are still in the first due to our belief that when the states restrictions were lifted that life had returned to pre-pandemic normal.  We cannot apply the old paradigm to this new virulent experience that none of us have been a part of in over 100 years!  Our conundrum required thinking outside of the box and adherence to basic social safety principles…religiously!  

We must not laugh at our teachers…in our sorrow and distress!  Our scientist and our medical professionals and our epidemiologist are our teachers…

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I always take great hope when I gather, virtually by Zoom, with our church board or during Sunday worship.  The thoughtfulness and the careful consideration of my fellow members of Session…inspires me!  None of us have the answers.  It is difficult to compile the questions…  But together…we are awesome!  

I have seen so much strength during this time of trial.  I have felt love during this social separation…  We must call on our better angels!  Why are we here in this time and in this place?  

It really is a beautiful day in the neighborhood…

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You Can’t Try It On…You Can’t Return It…Just Guess!

I visited our local JC Penny’s store in our ever shrinking mall today.  The store is going out of business…just as our Macy’s department store did earlier this year.  The retail world is changing faster than we can keep up with it!  As I perused the
Big and Tall selections I noticed a clearance rack.  While the storewide sales were 30% off, the clearance rack had 70-85% off.  When I get involved with the XLT’s and XL’s 2 3 and 4…I am lost.  Thus I attempted to hold the shirt up to my shoulders and imagine how it would fit if I were wearing it…similar to what I have seen actors and actresses do in the old movies on Turner Classic Movies.  While performing this procedure I alternately slipped my glasses on and off due to the extreme fog from wearing my mask for the protection of others from my breathing.  I finally settled on 3 shirts that I thought were worth the risk…and proceeded to the checkout area. I thought to myself that there is no harm in asking questions that I already knew the answer to…and so I inquired as to whether 
I could try on the shirts…and the answer was no.  I then mentioned that I probable could not bring them back if they did not fit…and the young woman replied that I was correct.  Finally I said that it appeared that I just had to guess…and she laughed a said that I was right.  Life has changed for us as we tread water through the flood of our 2020 pandemic.

My experience at Penny’s can serve as a metaphor for the state of affairs that we find ourselves in.  We are in the midst of a worldwide scourge that makes some people very ill and kills them…while others contract the disease and have no symptoms.  Some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are: Cough, Fatigue, Headache,  Congestion or runny nose, Sore throat.  I have experienced all of the above in Southern Illinois, which is rife with allergies, for all of my life.  Speaking and speaking loudly and singing propels aerosol from we humans… and that areosol has the direct danger of infecting others.  Illinois spent months in lock down while other states tried it for a short time and did not like it…and returned it to the store!  Now the Coronavirus is spiking in a dramatic fashion…and we must either return to the blunt procedures that we know work…or guess at the resulting outcome if we choose to follow our gut!  

So many of my friends and colleagues are taking the restrictions of living in a pandemic with class and dignity.  Many of them are my age and older.  They have seen trouble and trial.  They understand patience and good humor will win in the end.  

There is some guess work woven into our life during the pandemic.  Every human interaction that we choose to participate in…is a calculated risk.  MJ and I had our first restaurant dinner in months…a week or so ago.  It was with our dear friends…one of which has been undergoing a battle with breast cancer.  We dined al fresco and it was a lovely experience.  However about half of the patrons were wearing masks and some of the wait staff were either not wearing masks or wearing them incorrectly.  You can not wear a mask when you are eating and drinking…

We were not given the opportunity to try on our reactions, visceral and otherwise, to the 2020 pandemic.  All we could do was to look at a similar example in the history books from 1918.  I remember being in meetings with SIU President Dr. Glenn Poshard and listening to his explicit explanation of the potential for a SARS pandemic, and the preparation and response that Building Services would have to perform, should it occur.   He told us that the health professionals had informed him that it was not a matter of if…but when…  And so we older folks supposed that we had probably missed our turn in the barrel of pandemic…but we were wrong…

 

 

Something Good Is Going To Happen!

I purchased the new Bob Dylan album Friday.  It is terrific!  The first song on the disc is, ‘I Contain Multitudes.’  Some of the lyrics are:

‘ I’m just like Anne Frank, like Indiana Jones

And them British bad boys, The Rolling Stones

I go right to the edge, I go right to the end

I go right where all things lost are made good again

I sing the songs of experience like William Blake

I have no apologies to make

Everything’s flowing all at the same time

I live on the boulevard of crime

I drive fast cars , and I eat fast foods

I contain multitudes’

Bob Dylan

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Pastor Kerry told us this morning in our Zoom Church sermon, that we are all ‘slushee.’  Simply put we members of the human family are a unique and enriching and exciting mixture of many things.  We are mammals seeking our creator.   We come from the dust of the ground and we reach toward the heavens!  We live and love and laugh…and cry and mourn and grieve.  We have the unparalleled ability to be aware of ourselves and our life and our place in the world and its effect on those that we know and love.  We understand that we are going to die…and we contemplate the meaning of it all…   When a person attests that they have a narrow and restricted view of life and their role in it…I  am quizzical or dismayed…or frightened.  

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Photo by Streetwindy on Pexels.com

The long standing fight to pigeonhole or marginalize or gaslight others…is not the answer to our pressing problems.  The answer is to build a long….long….long…table and invite all of our brothers and sisters to break bread and to listen to each other…and to see each other….and to understand…

As I walked the beautiful Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale campus…I was struck with the idea that something good was going to happen!  We are in sore need of something good.  It is easy to develop the ocular malady of tunnel vision.  When in reality there are golden opportunities all around us!  

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SIUC is a force for good in Little Egypt!  It has the diversity of thought and people and academic disciplines that can meet the intellectual and social needs of anyone that is seeking to participate and understand the breadth of the human experience.   

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This week our campus welcomed our new chancellor, Dr. Austin Lane, and he brings with him his demonstrated skill in turning a university around and placing it on the road to success!  Let us not only welcome him and his family…but let us work with him to make something good happen!  

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