Monthly Archives: March 2020

Day 2683: Alone

Over the years, I have written, while alone, these blog posts with “alone” in the title:

Day 163: Alone in the presence of others

Day 247: No one is alone

Day 289: Sometimes, it just helps to know you’re not alone

Day 839: Never worry alone

Day 908: You are not alone

Day 1028: Can’t do it alone

Day 1180: Alone

Day 1294: Alone/Connected

In the three years since I wrote that last “Alone” post,

This week, I’m going to conduct five Coping and Healing groups  and each one of us participating will be alone in a room because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I may wear this t-shirt while facilitating a Coping and Healing group this week:

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I alone took all these other photos yesterday:

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Michael alone makes amazing meals for me.

Here are some quotes about “alone”:

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.  — Helen Keller

I only go out to get me a fresh appetite for being alone. — Lord Byron

It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company. — George Washington

We are rarely proud when we are alone. — Voltaire

I want to be with those who know secret things or else alone. — Rainer Maria Rilke

I don’t want to be alone, I want to be left alone  — Audrey Hepburn

The only real progress lies in learning to be wrong all alone. — Albert Camus

Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work. — A.P.J. Abdul Kalam

If it’s true that our species is alone in the universe, then I’d have to say the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. — George Carlin

We allow our ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders. — Maya Angelou

When the people you love are gone, you’re alone. — Keanu Reeves

To live alone is the fate of all great souls. — Arthur Schopenhauer

 

A year ago, when people were able to gather in groups,  Nat Shirley and I  performed this song which I did not write alone.

If you have thoughts and feelings about anything in this “Alone” post, you alone can express them in a comment, below.

I’m sure I’m not alone in my gratitude that we’re all alive, here and now.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Day 2682: What’s your worst fear AND what’s helping?

In the online groups I have been facilitating this week, I’ve been inviting people to share their worst fears and also what has been helping them deal with these.

My worst fear is that I won’t leave enough room for people to have all their feelings and what helps is my asking questions like that one.

Do you see any worst fears AND do you see anything that helps in my images from yesterday?

This interview with Dr. Fauci by Trevor Noah included worst fears and was also very helpful.

Please express worst fears AND what is helping you, in a comment below.

What helps me, every day, is finding and expressing gratitude wherever I am, so thanks to all (including YOU).

Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2681: Following the hearts

Yesterday, when I was outside in the fresh air, walking around with my heart of hearts, Michael, I noticed hearts on the doors and windows of our neighborhood.

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Michael and I exchanged some heart-felt speculations about what those hearts meant. We both believed, in our hearts, that this display of hearts was related to the coronavirus.

When I saw somebody outside this house with hearts …

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… I asked her (from a distance) what the hearts meant.  She said, “We have health care workers in the neighborhood, so we are showing solidarity, love, and appreciation for the work they are doing for us during these times.”  She also pointed out that people were sharing their hearts with the children in the neighborhood by participating in a social-distanced bear-spotting scavenger hunt.  I looked around, and my heart rejoiced to see this:

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I followed my heart  to capture  other images, which I now send from my heart to yours:

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As we enjoyed that heart-healthy meal last night, Michael and I followed our hearts to watch the wonderful movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.   Here  is heart-felt music from the film, composed by Tan Dun and featuring Yo-Yo Ma on cello.

Please follow your heart to the comments section, below.

Every day, I follow my heart here to express my gratitude to YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments

Day 2680: The rules

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, I’ve been thinking about rules.  The rules keep changing, but certain rules are clear:

  • Practice social distancing.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Connect with others remotely.

Here are the rules for somebody like me — who was almost definitely infected by the coronavirus but who could never get tested because of the scarcity of test kits — according to this email from my Primary Care Physician:

In terms of when you can end YOUR isolation (again, I am assuming you had COVID-19), according to the CDC (as of today – I just verified) you can leave your home once you have been fever-free without fever-reducing medication for 72 hours AND your cough has improved AND at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared. If you are still fever-free after 72 hours (tomorrow? Thurs?) and your cough is improving, I think you can leave your home but if you are still coughing it would be best to wear a mask.

Because my rules include “first, do no harm”  I waited a couple of extra days and first ventured out of my home yesterday. My rules include staying away from people and using gloves whenever I touch anything. As I wrote to a friend this morning:

I shall do my best to continue flattening the curve while not getting flattened by all this.

The rules at this blog include sharing photos that rule:

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The rules for me, because I have a mechanical heart valve and take Warfarin daily, include my checking my INR at home.  Because my INR was so high yesterday (it’s supposed to be between 2.5 and 3.5), my medical team’s rules included my skipping a dose of Warfarin last night and eating more greens. New rules: We think the coronavirus and my taking antibiotics have probably disrupted my INR temporarily.  The rules of common sense tell us that this number will stabilize again soon.

The rules of this blog also include

  • inviting you to share your rules, thoughts, and feelings in a comment, below, and
  • expressing gratitude for all who help me figure out the rules, every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, staying healthy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Day 2679: What are your priorities?

On this day, what are your priorities?

Do your priorities include taking care of tasks?

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Do your priorities include noticing and appreciating what’s around you throughout the day?

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Do your priorities include staying hydrated ?

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Do your priorities include keeping track of what belongs to you?

Do your priorities include eating healthy food?

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Do your priorities include socializing as best you can during these strange times?

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Do your priorities include compassion, kindness, and grace?

Do your priorities include effective communication?

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Do your priorities include smiling? Studies show that smiling helps improve your mood (even if you don’t feel like smiling).

Face it!  It can be very difficult to set priorities during changing and uncertain times. My priorities, here and now, include

  • blogging,
  • arranging and conducting on-line therapy groups,
  • forgiving myself for my mistakes,
  • listening,
  • communicating,
  • accepting myself and others,
  • balancing action with thought,
  • hope,
  • safety,
  • letting go of judgment,
  • letting go of worry,
  • finding joy wherever I can,
  • caring for myself and others as best I can, and
  • music (here and here).

As always, my priorities include gratitude, so thanks to all who help me create these daily posts, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2678: This Day

This day will be unlike any day we’ve seen before.

This day will bring:

  • new routines,
  • old routines,
  • fear,
  • hope,
  • local news,
  • global news,
  • food,
  • animals,
  • communication,
  • loneliness,
  • connection,
  • games,
  • humor,
  • tea,
  • fortune telling,
  • all the feelings,
  • different thoughts,
  • online therapy groups, and
  • these shared photos.

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This day will bring the coronavirus crisis and human behavior at its best and worst.

This day will bring this music:

This day, all your thoughts and feelings are welcome, as always.

This day, I have so much gratitude for all I have, including YOU.

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Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Day 2677: Who is the enemy?

These days, sometimes what I’m hearing is people trying to figure out who the enemy is.

Is the enemy

  • a political party?
  • a political leader?
  • those telling us to practice social distancing?
  • old habits?
  • cognitive distortions?
  • the news media?
  • the virus itself?
  • ourselves?
  • those we see as different from us?
  • confusion?
  • mixed messages?
  • hoarding?
  • lies?
  • the truth?
  • greed?
  • business?
  • socialism?
  • capitalism?
  • fear?
  • death?

Trying to figure out who the enemy is can take up a lot of energy.

When I look around, here, and now, I see no enemies. I see people trying their best to (1) figure out an ever-changing, unknown landscape and (2) get through this with minimal losses.

Do you see any enemies in my photos from yesterday?

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Here is “The Enemy Inside” by Dream Theater:

And just to balance things out, here’s “You’ve Got a Friend” covered by my musical hero Jacob Collier, whom I am almost definitely not going to be able to see perform in Boston this May.

I’m sure I’ll see Jacob Collier in better days to come.

Who is going to comment on enemies, friends, or anything else below?

As this tea bag tells us …

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… kindness has no enemy and neither does gratitude.

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Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Day 2676: What I’m hearing

What I’m hearing, whenever somebody asks me what kind of animal I might want to be, is myself answering: “I would want to be a duck, because ducks are comfortable on land, on water, and in the air, they mate for life, and they make extremely silly noises.”

What I’m hearing, these days, are people are having more difficulty hearing because there is so much competing noise out there about what people need to do to be healthy and to survive.

What I’m hearing is that it’s time for me to share my first photo of the day:

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What I’m hearing is that I will be able to conduct my Coping and Healing groups using a remote telehealth platform, starting today.  What I’m hearing is that several different people will be participating in today’s group.

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What I’m hearing is that people are nervous when they do anything new for the first time.  Who looks particularly nervous in that photo above?  I’m hearing that the duck is a little anxious.

What I’m hearing is that the supply chain of food is okay, for now.

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What I’m hearing is that sometimes happy coincidences happen, as you can see from last night’s teabag saying:

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I’m hearing that the power of music can help us stay sane during these nutty times.

Here‘s “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” performed by Marvin Gaye, a capella (because we’re all making do without all our usual supports, these days).

What are you hearing, here and now?

I hope you’re not sick of hearing gratitude from me.

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Categories: group therapy, health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Day 2675: Nuts! We’re all nuts!

Hello, my fellow nuts!  Today’s title is inspired by the very first photo I took yesterday:

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We’re all nuts because people are still

  • ignoring requests from governments to maintain social distancing,
  • hoarding certain provisions,
  • acting in old ways in the face of major new realities, and
  • personalizing, labeling, minimizing, magnifying, blaming, fortune-telling, mind-reading, negative-filtering, and all those other nutty cognitive distortions.

I hope that we nuts can figure out how to save ourselves and the planet before it’s too late, so we can keep being nuts together in less nutty ways.

All my photos today are nuts!

 

If you’re nuts about any of those photos, you can click on them to enlarge them.

Here‘s one of my favorite songs about how we’re all nuts (from before the days of social distancing):

 

If you’re nuts like me, please leave a comment below.

I am grateful to share this nutty blog with you, every day!

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Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Day 2674: What we can teach each other

Yesterday, I decided that our shy cat Harley could probably teach people a thing or two about social distancing, so I started taping this tutorial:

However, Harley didn’t teach the way I expected him to. Based on my past knowledge of Harley, I assume that Harley’s behavior was different because his best friend Michael was in the room.

This morning, when Michael was not in the room, I tried again:

Somebody can teach me something about how to hold the camera and Harley can teach us all this about social distancing:

  • Maintain a distance of six feet from people.
  • If somebody gets too close, move away, if possible.
  • If not, ask the person to back off.

Harley also teaches us that fear can make us very catty.

What can these other recent images teach us?

That teabag can teach us that our strength is our own knowledge.

I hope our knowledge and our strength help us all get through this.  I look forward to the teachings in the comments section, below.

Thanks to all who teach and learn, including YOU!

Categories: health care, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 34 Comments

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