I was walking Mig the other morning through the Plaza when we saw this on the sidewalk. It was of course the dried up slushy someone had dropped and left. I was captivated by it, so a snapped a pix and walked on. Later, I opened it on my computer and played with it in a photo editor. I can see many things in this image besides a messy stain. What do you see? Perhaps it is a sort of haphazard Rorsharch test! Bull, I say.
This is at one of my favorite beaches in northern Santa Barbara. Sunsets like this are amazing. These days, they are memories as we hunker in place. And yes, I imagine we will once again be able to experience them again. Sunsets are one of life's pleasures. And I just know after the time of Covid 19, we will be free to enjoy them once again.
For today's pholog I am sharing a montage of this grand church building downtown that is a beacon for hope. I felt moved to honor her after attending virtual church this morning.
Captured this view on my walk this morning here in Riverside. That is the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance and Mount Rubidoux here in Riverside. The clear skies are, of course, a side benefit to the current Stay at Home order due to the Covid 19 Pandemic.
I vaguely remember taking capturing this image at an estate sale in Loma Linda a while back. Just seems appropriate for the out-of-step Easter we are having this year.
This stepping stone with the sun, moon and stars is under the water from days and days of rain here in So Cal. It will still be there after the rainwaters have dried up and the sun comes out once again. Symbolic, I think.
It's been raining here in So Cal for days and days. But there is always a break it seems and the skies seem so much much clear in these days where so many are staying home. I saw this vision and that is indeed the sun shining through. Perhaps there is still hope for better days ahead.
What One Does During a Shut Down
When I don't know what to do with the time I have, as during this externally imposed stay at home order, I go to my default mode. I make a list. The joy of making lists is that it makes me feel like I am really doing something. It's like laundry and washing the dishes: it's good to do, must be done; but like laundry and washing the dishes, one must actually do the things on the list for it to be effective.
A good list and last a long while. I can post it, review it, check things off and feel good about accomplishing something on your list. I can make a list of my lists.
My list of lists would include:
This list of lists can get very long. By the end of it, I will have accomplished something. I'll feel organized. I'll have something to work from. It helps me prioritize. It should work as something to hold me accountable! And, aye, there's the rub. I can make all the lists I want and commit to doing each one, but if I am the only one who sees them, well, I guess I can easily slack off and give myself wonderful excuses, which I won't go into here, but you get my drift.
So, there you have it. In writing this post I have without much effort, made lists and a list of those lists. Now comes the moment of truth: sharing the list with the world. And if you are reading this here and now, I hit the share button. And what do you know? I have you maybe to help me be accountable. (I'm a crafty devil, huh?)
I'm not necessarily a wholly holy believer, but I do believe there are many lessons to be learned from the story of Jesus as told in the Bible. On this Palm Sunday, I listened online in the time of COVID 19 to my church's* Palm Sunday Service. As always when I do listen to the pastor's sermon, I come away thinking about things in a different way. After all, one of this denomination's mottos is "Don't leave your brain at the door."
The reverend spoke of two stories from the Book of Mark. One about Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the other of the anointing of Jesus at Bethany**. My biggest takeaway from this sermon was in line with what the reverend spoke of: this is a story of triumph, a balancing in preparation for what was to come, sorrow, and the eventual triumph to some.
Greeted by worshipping throngs, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a humble "king of the jews", but really a great teacher. The woman at Bethany anointed him with a precious oil that was used to both celebrate the elevation of Jesus and to calm and soothe him in preparation for what was to come.
Lest I get into sermonizing myself, this whole story for me opened my eyes again to the fact that in my life there are "wins" and there are "losses". It is a constant swing from highs to lows. The pendulum, as is oft said, swings both ways. That is what is happening now, I believe. Wildly to be sure. But eventually the pendulum will settle again in the middle, perhaps this time to stay.
*First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, Riverside CA
** Mark 1:1-11 and Mark 14:3-9
The is the gargoyle that stands at the entrance to my house. He has been in this spot for many years now. Most of the time I am inured to it. I don't even see it most of the time. And yet it sits there, day after day, night after night, watching the comings and going of the neighborhood and the postman and the visitor.
Then every so often he catches my attention again. And I thank him for keeping a watchful eye on things. Today this image reminded me that often there are people and things we take for granted who are always somehow looking out for us. Seems acutely true in this time of mysterious viruses and social isolation.
Just when we think we are all alone, something like this gargoyle comes back to our consciousness and reminds us to take note and be aware: there is a force in the universe that is always on our side. Whatever that is for you, focus on it now. This too will pass. Only time will tell.