Today we’re free-form writing!
We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 64.
Give us our daily plants
RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon
This week, a Lebanese icon, Nadine Labaki, released a video that encourages us to grow our own gardens in an attempt to save money on local produce. Not that we have any money left anyway to buy food as was written in The Washington Post today.
Our local currency, the Lollar, began playing a game of hide and seek until it hid and couldn’t be found anymore (it has been kidnapped for a huge ransom!) Many of our groceries have also quadrupled in price.
A brilliant combination of local stars, journalists, and influencers participated in this sing-a-long: plant it, grow it, water it, cut it, cook it, share it are among many of the lyrics.
I am so happy that this movement is taking place for many reasons:
- During lockdowns, gardening is an amazing meditative experience.
- Reap what you sow. There is something to be said about eating what one nurtures.
- It is creating a community of gardeners in many neighborhoods.
- We are learning to be more environmentally cognizant.
- We avoid produce that has been watered with sewage water (yep!)
- Green spaces!
- I have been planting my veggie and herb garden for years and so happy to be joined by others!
There are days when I feel like giving up on Lebanon. What Nadine Labaki did is she rekindled my patriotism and my love for this amazing little country that just can’t seem to mature.
But gardeners, environmentalists, protestors, citizens, we shall prevail now and post-corona. Enjoy and sing along; I’ve been humming the tune all day.
Sorry, not sorry
Wayne Wallace, McLean, #Virginia
I remember the outrage expressed by politicians and pundits of a particular stripe that the President of the United States (POTUS) was corrupting the youth of America. Because the POTUS had lied about sex, and because it became the main conversation across the country, he had “coarsened” the nation and was an especially bad example for our youth. You see, POTUS is held to a higher standard than the rest of us, specifically because of the position he holds and the visibility of his office.
Where are those politicians now? What do the pundits think today? Far worse than the example of an extra-marital affair, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is setting us up to normalize sociopathy. When he speaks, he shows empathy for no one other than Donald J. Trump. In April 2020, some 30 million Americans lost their jobs. Trump’s take on it? “Nobody can blame me,” he announced, neglecting to recognize the impact to millions of his constituents.
When the death toll from the #Coronavirus surpassed 70,000, he tried to express empathy. But his true nature shone through: “To those who have lost loved ones, we are sorry, and we are here for you. But I’m going to give you an economy they can be proud of.” Really? Are your dead relatives proud of Trump’s economy? Our Commander-in-Chief couldn’t manage to spit out one unadulterated empathetic sentence.
Where is the outrage from what’s left of the right? The alt-right, I get (they’re sociopaths, too), but there used to be a principled opposition that would speak up and point out wrongs. They would prod those in power to do the right thing. Were their voices silenced when Fox News fired all the so-called “Never Trumpers”? If so, I fear for the country, because it means the American Right has become devoid of moral character. Children giggling in the schoolyard about a blue dress and the DNA found on it is concerning. But it’s nothing compared to the damage to America’s Future inflicted by a Commander in Chief whose example is that self-centeredness and utter lack of empathy – not to mention accountability and a whole host of other responsibilities – is an acceptable standard. Should future generations of leaders understand that sociopaths are to be admired? Is empathy and concern for fellow citizens no longer a virtue?
Adapting to the future
RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain
One of my favorite pastimes is apartment-hunting, whether or not I’m in the market for a new place. There’s something exciting about entering a space and letting my imagination go. How did the owners collect their artwork? What’s the story behind each piece of furniture? How would I arrange my own stuff in this apartment? How awesome would my dinner parties be here? I’m always in search of the perfect apartment.
In the BC days, I found my perfect apartment. It is smack in the middle of the old city. Bars and restaurants on both sides of my street. The carryout place is so close they could just throw my order up through my window. And how romantic, to be in the old city! Ideal!
Well, let me tell you, that got old about two weeks into my year-long lease. Living in the heart of the old city is only romantic during the day, while the drunks are asleep. Throughout the evening and well into the night, I was routinely kept awake through the evolution from social drinking to happy drinking, buzzed to sloppy, crying over love (oh, why did she leave me!) (Me: because you’re a fool), and eventually, inevitably, the challenge to a fight in the alley (if I can’t have her, nobody can!).** It was rare for me to get to sleep before 4 or 5 am because of the noise.
** Overly dramatic portrayal of real events **
With lockdown, though, the eerie quiet has been more disturbing that being kept up all night, and I have to admit I’ve been longing for the old sounds. But my priorities have changed, and as the end of my lease nears, I feel the familiar twinge of excitement at starting the apartment hunt all over again.
Time for virtual tours! Next week, since Malaga has finally entered Phase 1 of “un-lockdown,” I will visit places in person – masked, gloved, and possibly caped like a superhero. When I’m ready to move, I won’t be looking for the nightlife, no matter how much I miss the loud drunks. Nope, in anticipation of a second wave of the Coronavirus, my new perfect apartment has a sunny balcony overlooking the sea and a quiet space where I can work. The decor won’t matter; my stuff will fit perfectly, I’m sure; and the fabulous dinner parties will have to be over Zoom.
Sometimes, we just have to adapt to the future.
New Ways to Solving Problems
Norma B. Wallace, Bend, #Oregon
Albert Einstein said it best: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
I think of all the ways in my 76 years that I have solved problems. I am resilient and will overcome whatever I need to at the end of this pandemic. I am not sure how, but I’ll figure it out. That is an expression I hear from my grandkids and I am proud of them and their parents for having that attitude. I just don’t know what the solutions will be.
I could name all the things we all have made do at home and all the people that provide services that we depend on. The grocer, the truck driver, the healthcare workers, and and. ….
What are the solutions? We certainly can’t depend on our government—there is more chaos than I have ever seen in my lifetime. Believe it or not—I am totally at a loss for words and can’t even ramble. I have written and rewritten this post and deleted all the previous drafts. I am just depending on the next generations to improve life on this planet and others for the benefit of ALL mankind. Show respect for fellow human beings. Take care of the Earth and the Universe. There have to be solutions!!
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