Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


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One Year


One year ago today, I was in a local grocery store trying to stock up on supplies along with throngs of toilet paper panic-buyers.    It was the first day of my quarantine, a Friday the 13th.  I thought it would be only a few weeks of working at home.

One year later, I am still working at home.

Like many people I spent the year exploring new activities and hobbies. I’ve baked bread. (But only three times. Store-bought is better.)   I studied the Tao Teh Ching and read the Bhagavad Gita along with books on Buddhism and meditation. I got into doing at least one of the daily offices from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer (okay, not every day, but enough so that it is somewhat a habit). I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen with vegetarian cooking.  (Beans, beans, the magical fruit….).   I have been gardening– you’ve seen plenty of pictures here– and I have been trying to establish art-making as a daily practice (except I spend more time arting in my bedroom where the light is better than in the studio I set up.)

I have not been writing much. I need to be out and about gathering experiences to write on. I have not been drumming. I cannot drum alone and zoom drumming is not an option.  I have not been exercising much.  Bad girl, bad!

I’ve spent way too much time on social media. The upside:  I’ve been cultivating virtual relationships with other artists and like-minded people in FaceBook groups. I have spent hours binge-watching series like Downton Abbey and The Good Witch. I have been taking crash courses in ancient history on YouTube. Technology has been a God-send:  I’ve gotten to know the people of my faith community and my work community a whole lot better through Zoom. I’ve had many “virtual happy hours” with my personal friends via text messaging.

And I’ve been reading and reading and reading fiction– especially in the genres of fluffy mysteries and magical realism.

I’ve been more politically aware thanks to 24/7 cable news.   I’d like to think I made a difference for the better with my vote.

But these activities, along with work, could not fill up all the hours of the day and night. So I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting:   Reflecting on heavy issues like death and dying. (Yes, Covid has touched very close to home). Reflecting on the difference between being alone and being lonely. (Not something you want to ponder at 3:30 in the morning). Reflecting on my own physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. (I’ve got some work to do there).

Tomorrow, God-willing and the creek don’t rise, I am supposed to get my first vaccine dose. Even though the pandemic is far from over and I still need to be careful for the sake of others, when I get my second dose, I will consider this journaling project over.  I will have survived.

This quarantine has been as if the Universe has given me a time out to sift through a lot of inner stuff.

And I am trying hard to be grateful for that.

Ljgloyd (c)


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Day 248: On Being an Open-Minded Skeptic

Tai Chi Chuan at the Beach, ljgloyd 2017

I believe in science.  I have little patience for flat-earthers who ignore basic, observable evidence, or those who won’t wear masks during a pandemic because …. well, I really don’t understand their “because”.    They make no sense.

That being said, I am open-minded enough to believe in the possibility of things that don’t have a readily available scientific explanation.

For example, I have, for decades, practiced various types of energetic practices such as qigong, tai chi chuan, and yoga– practices intended to move vital life force energy (Qi) through the body to optimize good health   I receive acupuncture treatments and take Chinese herbs for the same reason–they break up stagnant Qi.    I engage in these practices because I can observe the outcome: I feel better afterwards.

So for the time-being, I will be content to embrace the mystery and assume that one day our methods of scientific research will shed more light on the existence and operation of something so basic as our vital life force.

********

Here are two fascinating clips from the classic Bill Moyer’s documentary about Qi and traditional Chinese medicine.  In the second video, I appreciate the young man’s comments about advancing our methods of studying Qi.

ljgloyd (c) 2020

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/11/17/rdp-tuesday-qi/


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Day 220: Work/Life Balance

Way back in March when we started our work-at-home lockdown, I fussed a lot about having to stay at home all the time, enduring the “sameness” of every day. Of course, there is still a lot of that feeling, but I have come to appreciate the benefits.

The primary benefit for me is the work/life balance.  I don’t have to rush home to meet the handiman. I don’t have to spend my weekend or evenings doing laundry or vacuuming. No stress in dealing with commuter traffic. I can make a pot of tea and drink it like a civilized person instead of gulping it from a paper cup. I can go out and weed my garden on my lunch hour. And I don’t have to binge cook on Sunday afternoons. I have time to tend a simmering caldron of soup on a Thursday afternoon. And this morning, I roasted a kabocha squash while answering work emails and preparing for zoom meetings.

Yes, I can get used to this.  Wait, I think I have gotten used to this. 

kabocha squash roasted in olive oil, rosemary, salt, pepper and drizzled with maple syrup


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Day 115: The Zen of Airing My Laundry

Today is supposed to be a major holiday where I live. But there is no excitement for me today. It is going to be just like any other Saturday. I will work in my garden, do my laundry and get rid of some recyclables.  I may even vacuum.  It will be more of a day of quiet circumspection than a day for watching fireworks and eating barbecue.

Last week my dryer broke down.  Right now I am not inclined to get it fixed. There are several reasons for this, but basically I just don’t want to deal with it. It just seems so irrelevant in the middle of all the global chaos. Instead, I bought a clothesline and some old-fashioned wooden clothespins and this morning I hung my wet laundry out to dry in a discreet place in my yard.

I noticed right away that this is a slow process. It is not just throwing the clothes in a metal box and pressing a button. I had to take my time and hang things properly.  It was pleasant standing out in the warm summer sun. I was transported me back to my childhood before we had a dryer in the house and watched my mother tend to this task.   (I am sure my mother would not have seen this chore in the same way as I do now which is why I suspect we eventually got a dryer. And ask me my feelings about this again in January when I can’t hang my clothes out because of the freezing rain.).

But today in my yard near my sunflowers and ripening tomatoes, in the midst of a global pandemic, financial crisis, and social unrest, I am reflecting on the state of the world and finding a few minutes of serenity.  Or at least I will try.

Ljgloyd 2020

 

.https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/excitement/

 

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/your-daily-word-prompt-discretion-ydwordprompt-July-4-2020/

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/07/04/excitement/

 


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Day 26: Touching Base

It is Day 26 of my lock down.   And it is looking like this will continue at least through the month of April and probably into May.  And then, from what I hear, it is going to come around again in September.

The situation has been tolerable, but now I am hearing that we should not leave the house at all, not even to walk around for exercise for at least two weeks.   Now I know that is for my well-being and the safety of all around me.   And it is no big deal to be asked to lay on my couch all day.  So I will do it.

It will end.  It will. I have no doubt.  But how will I change and how will we all change when it is done?  Will we go back to the old normal of being selfish, shallow, materialistic, over-privileged jerks?   Or will be move giving, more reflective, more spiritual, more magnanimous individuals?

Maybe I will slip back to the old ways, though I hope not.  But I do know that I am grateful for a job, a roof over my head, food in my pantry, and so far — by the grace of God — good health.   If there is no other benefit than learning to be grateful, then I will have done well.

ljg 2020

 

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/04/07/grace/


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Day 1: Calm in the Eye of the Storm


Like hundreds of millions of people all over the world, I am trying to practice some social distancing during the pandemic.  In order to “isolate” for several weeks, I ventured out to do some shopping for essentials to have on hand.   At 6 o-my-sweet-Moses-in-the-morning in the darkness and in a pouring rainstorm, I went to one of the local warehouse stores hoping to avoid a crowd and possible exposure to the virus.  That idea didn’t work too well.  When I arrived there were already about 50 or 60 people waiting to get into the store along with me. I knew the crowds would only get worse so I took the plunge and got in line.

Seriously, I wasn’t there to hoard. I simply wanted to get some pantry staples.   For example, I thought I would get a few rolls of paper towels.  However, all the store had were huge packs of 24 rolls. I don’t need that many rolls of paper towels and to have purchased them would have been hoarding. So I left them for somebody else.  I’ll use old fashioned fabric towels and wash them.  It’s better for the environment anyway.

A lot of shelves were empty, but in spite of what I have seen on the news — people fighting over toilet paper and other insane behaviors– everyone I engaged was polite and in some cases even jovial in the attempt to take the edge off the tension.   I quickly worked through my list:  a few canned items, hand sanitizer, cartons of shelf-safe nut milk, oatmeal, and chocolate.  (I can’t face a global crisis without chocolate).  Then I checked out and high-tailed it home.

I had originally planned to fill my day with garden work, but since the rain has made that impossible, I had to find something else to occupy the day.  I’ve made an inventory of my pantry (I’m good on food and toiletries for several weeks), I fooled around on social media, and now I am writing.  This evening I plan to read.   I cannot– CANNOT– watch one more minute of the news.   It is not that the news about the pandemic frightens me.  More to the point, it unsettles me.  I am anxious.  Not so much about my getting sick, but about things like what this is doing to the stock market, and the global economy,  how does this affect my doing my job next week, and how do I keep myself sane when I am spending so much time alone.  By the way, Alexa is not very good at holding sustained conversations.

Yesterday, a friend of mine had a digital copy sent to me of a well-known book on Zen meditation.  So tomorrow, Sunday, since my diocese has cancelled worship services, I may sit and try to meditate instead.   I have the next few weeks to worry about the state of things.   Tomorrow, though, I will take a few minutes and try to find some calm in this storm.

Stay well everyone.

ljg (c) 2020

 

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/14/rdp-saturday-calm/

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/03/13/rdp-friday-isolate/

 


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Turning Towards the Light

It is St. Briget’s Day and though it is not astronomically the first day of Spring, it seems like many folks are putting behind them the dark, cold days of winter and turning towards lighter and warmer days. Pagans celebrate this day with a feast called Imbolc, honoring the goddess Briget while some Christians have folded this celebration into their belief system by commemorating an Irish nun, also named Briget, as a saint. On Sunday, the church also will commemorate Jesus’ presentation at the temple. Historically, many of the devoted have brought their candles to church on this day for a blessing (Candlemas), a symbolic linking to the belief that Jesus is the Light of the World.

Let’s not forget that tomorrow many in North America will observe Groundhog Day, a weather-forecasting tradition brought to the new world by German immigrants. If a groundhog sees his shadow on this day, then there will be six-more weeks of inclement weather.

It seems that these celebrations, commemorations, and observations focus on themes of light and the turning of time, and this integration of themes has resulted in February 1, 2 and 3 becoming the unofficial start of Spring.  It seems like we can’t help ourselves but to look forward to longer and warmer days.

I myself can see the sun rising higher in the sky each day and its rays beginning to creep across my yard.   That being the case, I had better get to work in the garden and start planting some lettuce and beets.

ljgloyd c 2020

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/integrated-2/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/your-daily-word-prompt-devote-february-1-2020/
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/02/01/rdp-saturday-spring/
https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/2020/01/31/daily-addictions-beet/