Monday, 6 April 2020
Saturday, 4 April 2020
No matter what is happening in our lives, time marches on.
The trees are coming into blossom.
The birds are starting to nest.
The streets may be empty, but the garden is bursting with life.
Sometimes it's good to be reminded that we are not the centre of the universe
Wednesday, 1 April 2020
Social isolation - keeping our distance to care for one another.
It seems so strange that to care for one another, we have to stay away from each other. To show our love, we keep our distance. How affronted are we when others invade our 2m space? Doing my shopping this week I was carefully keeping my distance from the people in front of me, only to have others come up behind me or pass close by when there was no need to be so close. When that happens, you want to shout, "I'm keeping my distance for your sake as well as mine!"
Drawing close at this time shows a lack of care for others. How long will it take us to revert once all this is over? Perhaps with loved ones hugging will come back as soon as possible, but what about with strangers? Will we still swerve out of the way in the street? Will we take up shaking hands again? How will our personal interactions change because of this situation?
Monday, 30 March 2020
Coughs and sneezes spread diseases.
The three circles sat on this page for a while before I decided what I wanted to do with the rest of the page. The black marks were made to calm the background and bring things together. When I stood back and looked at what I'd done, I was reminded of the spread of droplets when coughing and sneezing - something that is on everyone's mind at the moment - and I couldn't get the little phrase out of my head, so I wrote it down. If I did it over again, I'd do the lettering differently, but it's just my journal and I'll turn the page and start anew.
Friday, 27 March 2020
Practice thankfulness. In times of uncertainty and anxiety it is helpful to remember your blessings.
No matter what situation we find ourselves in, there is always something to be thankful for. We may have to look harder to find it, it may be a small thing, but there is always a reason to give thanks.
In our pandemic times, I am thankful for...
the breath in my lungs
family and friends, even though I can't hug them all right now
the sunshine - somehow it all looks better when the sun is shining
birdsong - I can hear more of it while I walk now there are fewer cars on the roads
technology that helps us stay in touch
all those people who are working on the front-lines to keep us all healthy and fed
and many, many other things besides.
There is much to be thankful for.
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
Social distancing. The new buzzwords. When will that phrase make its way into the Oxford Dictionary?
Keep plenty of white space between you and the next person.
And if you're someone who prays, please pray for those who have lost loved ones recently and who can only have 10 people at a funeral service and only at a crematorium or graveside. No church service, no wake, and sitting six feet apart. Grief compounded.
Monday, 23 March 2020
Re-thinking community: how to fellowship when we can't gather together?
It is a time when we realise that gathering together has become part of who we are, a way to feel that we belong, a way to connect and keep in touch. Humans need that connection.
With churches shut, we have been looking at how to keep in touch with our community using all the things available to us. Technology for virtual church, letters through the door for those not on email, phone calls - anything to help us to connect while staying away from each other.
Sunday, 22 March 2020
This page is so out of control! I guess maybe it reflects our world at the moment. However, I refused to let it stay out of control. So, what to do?
First, throw some white at it:
This is an improvement, but it needs more. There are some bits I really like, but all together it's too much. So, more white, but with an aim in mind:
Now we have a vase incorporating lots of colour and pattern, but surrounded by white, it becomes much calmer. And a vase needs flowers:
So there you go: how to tame an out of control page and turn chaos into something beautiful.
Wednesday, 18 March 2020
Do not let fear rule - care for one another.
I went to do my weekly shopping trip on Monday and it was horrendous. Where there are usually two tills open at the most and a couple of people waiting at each, instead there were five open tills and people were queueing halfway down the shop. It took us about twenty minutes to get to the till. The whole job took twice as long as usual and there were several items on my list that I couldn't get because the shelves were empty.
People had trolleys that were piled high - 4 of everything because those were the restrictions. Who really needs 4 packs of crumpets + 4 packs of teacakes + 4 loaves + 4 packs of rolls + 4 packs of drop scones? Really? There were no packets of flour on the shelves. Has everyone taken up baking all of a sudden? As someone who bakes every week, I have to be honest and tell you that I was slightly annoyed that I couldn't pick up my usual pack of flour that I have on my list once a fortnight. That's all I wanted, just one pack. I'm not stockpiling, just buying to feed my family for a week.
Why do we let fear rule? Please, please ask yourself if you really need that extra pack (or 3!) of toilet rolls/flour/UHT milk. What if we all bought just what we really need for the week? What if we left something for the next person or took something to the local foodbank?
What if we started to care for one another instead of letting fear make us selfish?
Monday, 16 March 2020
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson.
There is so much pressure these days to measure up to certain arbitrary beauty standards, modes of behaviour, roles etc. It would be so easy to just bow to all that pressure and fit in, but the world would be worse off. If we all strive to be the same, wouldn't that be so boring? We all have so much to contribute and each contribution is unique. So be your own colourful authentic self, no matter what the world wants you to be.