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: personal growth, photojournalism, group therapy | 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: , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 2673: What’s important to remember

This morning, I saw this headline on my newsfeed:

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo says it’s important to remember that people are worried and anxious.

It was important to remember to watch Governor Cuomo delivering that message:

It’s also important to remember:

  • to be empathic,
  • to be mindful,
  • to be kind to others and to ourselves,
  • to say the important things to those who matter to us, and
  • that we’re all quarantined now, in one way or another.

Let’s see if there’s anything important to remember in my quarantined photos from yesterday:

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It’s important for me to remember that my cousin Liane Plane was in the original production of West Side Story on Broadway, and that The New York Times thought it was important, too, in one of several articles about Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday.

It’s important for me to remember that my friend Jeanette noticed that Liane looks like the dancer emoji💃 in that old photo.

It’s important for me to remember that Liane danced in one of my favorite musical numbers ever, “America,” even though I was too young to see her in it. Here’s “America” from the film version of West Side Story.

 

It’s important to remember that people will be dancing together again, eventually, in New York and elsewhere.

What do you think is important to remember, here and now?

I hope you remember that I’m grateful to YOU, every day.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Day 2672: Face it!

Face it!

Oscar does not understand the whole social distancing thing…

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… but I do.

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Face it!  I’ve been trying to reassure my worried friends with how well my face looks in that recent photo.

Face it!  I’ve been trying to put more smiles on my own face by watching favorite funny movies from simpler times, like Big and What About Bob?

I’ve also been stuffing my face with good food, like this:

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Face it!  Humans have survived pandemics before and our best hope of survival is if we face this together (at a distance, of course!).

Face it!  This scene, starring somebody else recovering from the coronavirus,  always puts a smile on my face.

 

What’s been helping you face these strange times?

I look forward to facing your comments, below.

Face it!  I haven’t been able to go out into the world to collect new expressions of gratitude, so here are some old ones, which include a few nice faces:

 

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2671: Good news

There’s always good news to be found, if you look for it.

In Venice, dolphins are swimming in the clean waters of the canals for the first time in decades.

Maybe people’s reactions to the coronavirus are demonstrating that human beings can actually change their behaviors and come together for the common good.  That’s good news for our species and for the planet.

Do you see good news in any of today’s photos?

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Please share whatever good news you can in the comments section, below. That would be good for all of us.

Gratitude is always good news, so thanks to all who help me share the news in this daily blog, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 2670: Yesterday’s news

“Yesterday’s news” is a phrase that was defined this way, yesterday:

yesterday’s news
PHRASE

something that everyone already knows about and is no longer interested in.
“People who think the environment is yesterday’s news are wrong.”

Does COVID-19 meet the criteria for yesterday’s news?  Most people already know about it but interest remains high.

COVID-19 is yesterday’s news, today’s news, AND tomorrow’s news. I think we’re all looking forward to the time when COVID-19 will truly be yesterday’s news.

That time will come; we just don’t know when.

Around here, yesterday’s news included all this:

Do you see yesterday’s news in yesterday’s photos?

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That rubber duck is yesterday’s news, because it first appeared in this blog post from the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which was A LOT of yesterdays ago. I’m glad we’re all still here, not much the worse for wear.

Here‘s “Yesterday” by the Beatles, who are definitely not yesterday’s news.

Any comment you leave, below, will be news to me.

My daily gratitude may be something everyone here already knows about, but I’m hoping you’re still interested in it, here and now.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Day 2669: Now we are at home

Now we are at home trying to make sense of all the changing developments in the COVID-19 worldwide crisis.

Now we are at home reading this English translation of an amazing poem by Mariangela Gualtieri.

March the Ninth Twenty Twenty
Mariangela Gualtieri

I’m telling you this
we needed to stop.
We knew. We all felt it
that it was too furious,
our frenzy. Being inside of things.
Outside of our selves.
Squeeze every hour – make it yield.

We needed to stop
and we couldn’t.
We needed to do it together.
Slow down the race.
But we couldn’t.
There was no human force
that could hold us back.

And since this
was for all of us a tacit wish
like an unconscious will –
perhaps our species has obeyed
loosened the bonds that protect
our seed. Opened
the innermost cracks
and let it in.
Perhaps this is why there was a leap
in the species – from the bat to us.
Something in us wanted to be opened.
Perhaps, I don’t know.

Now we are at home.

It is extraordinary what is happening.
And there is gold, I believe, in this strange time.
Perhaps there are gifts.
Nuggets of gold for us. If we help one another.
There is a very strong call
of the species now and as a species
we must each see ourselves. A common fate
holds us here. We knew it. But not well enough.
Either all of us, or no one.

The earth is powerful. Truly alive
I feel it thinking a thought
that we do not know.
And with what’s happening now? Let us consider
whether the earth is not what’s moving.
Whether the law that rules
the entire universe, whether what’s happening, I
wonder,
isn’t the full expression of that law
that governs us too – just like
every star – every particle of the cosmos.

Whether the dark matter was this
being bound together in an ardor
for life, with the sweep of death that comes
to rebalance every species.
Keep it within its dimensions, in its place,
going in the right direction. It is not us
who made heaven.

An imposing voice, without words
tells us to stay home now, like children
who are in trouble and don’t know why,
and won’t get kisses, won’t be hugged.
Each within a suspension
that takes us back, perhaps to the slowness
of ancient ancestors, of mothers.

Look more at the sky,
daub a dead man ochre. Bake bread
for the first time. Look intently at a face. Sing
a child softly to sleep. For the first time
hold someone else’s hand tight
feel the strength of the agreement. That we are
together.
A single organism. The whole species
we carry within us. We are saving it inside us.

To that grasp of a palm
in another person’s palm
to that simple act that we are now forbidden –
we will return with expanded awareness.
We’ll be here, more attentive, I think. Our hand
will be more delicate in the doing of life.
Now that we know how sad it is
to stand one meter apart.

Translation by Lucy Rand e Clarissa Botsford

Now we are at home taking this photo …

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… and noting that Oscar does not understand the concept of social distancing.

Now we are at home eating fresh food again because a dear friend dropped off supplies for us yesterday.

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Now we are at home listening to music we love about home.

Now we are at home, feeling grateful for all we have, including YOU.

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Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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