Living in the Age of COVID- 19: Delicate Colors

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I haven’t left my home to photograph since I returned to Michigan from our winter home in Florida. Even in Florida the only outing with camera after the middle of March was into the western edge of the Everglades, to Everglade City and Chokoloskee . There is a disconnect in my psyche. I love taking photos during the northern spring, when nature is sprouting soft greens, the tulips and daffodils are blooming (deer ate my tulips again this year, but not until after they had bloomed for a day or two.) There are flowering fruit trees around the neighborhood so there is no reason for not taking the camera out. But I don’t.

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Instead I’m wandering through my photo files, looking for “delicate colors” for this week’s Lens-Artist challenge. What a perfect prompt because I need delicate as I watch news of the covid hot-spots across the country, see parts of the country open up and people flock to close places without masks, and ache with hurt and am enraged along with all the protesters over the latest deaths of Afro-Americans at the hands of police. What in the hell is going on when people don’t recognize that their racism is not okay? What in the hell is going on that people aren’t willing to sacrifice a drink in a bar for the well-being of others? What in the hell is going on when the president of the U.S. is too macho and too insensitive to wear a mask? What in the hell is going on when meat packing companies (and Amazon) put profits above human lives? What in the hell is going on when governments are hiding the number of nursing home and prison deaths instead of providing adequate help? What in the hell is going on when the president of the U.S. tweets damaging and inciting lies (with absolutely no factual basis) about a TV personality he is having an ongoing feud with and there are no consequences for him?

I should say “sorry” for my rant, but that felt so good – you can see why I need delicate colors in my life. Life is just f***ing crazy in 2020. Take another deep breath, Pat. And another.

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Jim and I are making our moments of joy even as I feel battered by the social chaos. Yesterday we picked up a take-out from one of our favorite place to eat, the Cascade Manor House. Normally they only host private dinner events and wonderful public buffets on special days but are now providing take-out dinners on Thursdays. Last night they served honey roasted ham, glazed carrots, and their special corn casserole. We parked in their upper lot, between the golf course and the skating pond in the Cascades park. No, we don’t eat out of styrofoam boxes with plastic forks. I take real plates and silverware. Next week they are serving up turkey and dressing. Maybe I’ll take a quilt and sit on the lawn for our picnic. Or take folding chairs and sit in the gazebo. Maybe I’ll even grab a couple of cloth napkins as I pack for our outing.

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Have you found ways to bring joy and gentle to your lives?