The beautiful winds. They picked me up out of sleep, made my first coffee then tucked me in for the morning write in front of the eastern window.

A quick scan of the news has filled me with wonder – we all are navigating this new call for quarantine, for self-care, in isolation. Museums close, the stock market takes a dive and stays there even after Mister Trump tweets a correction. Sophie, wife of Justin has tested positive and so our Prime Minister will self-isolate for two weeks. Schools are now closed for three weeks. The band shows up because music always happens, and plays to ten, instead of 100.

Canada has counted 150 cases so far and one of these is in Hamilton, though of course there will be more. The Ontario doctor who specializes in infectious diseases says that he was scared by Sars, but is not by Covid-19. What scares him is our fear and panic.

Humans are marvelously inventive beings. We can of course devise sensible, meaningful ways to connect, amidst the quarantine and isolation.

Mia the cat stays at the window, mesmerized by the spring birds who flit past. The purple and gold clouds scudd overhead as though the speed of the morning is pushed forward in time-lapse. The winter-bare tree tops dance and sway, while the wind whistles in through my open western window.

The world is a beautiful place. While the wind swirls, while the trees dance and the sunlight flashes through traveling clouds I find myself smiling. Peace.

I appreciate the feel of foamy soap on my hands, enjoy the gurgle of water down the drain. I’m writing letters and will send them by snail mail. I’m reading books, drawing and visiting friends I’ve not seen for decades – we can wash our hands together; there will be laughter. I’m taking my amazing young nephew out for breakfast too. We’ll make a game out of not touching our hands to our faces.

Happily my portrait work and research continue without impediment. There are some for whom this is not so, and my heart goes out to you. I hope you can find some simple joys to ease the worry.

We’ll sort this out, folks. Sensibly and with love. In the meantime, let’s find ways to actively love one another.

definition:  the difference between what you believe and what someone else believes.  The greater the difference, the more trouble you’re in.

For humans (who should know better), there must also be a fairly strong element of denial involved to make this so.

This oak tree thought it would live in one place it's entire life. Then it was sold and planted somewhere entirely different (without any of its 'birth' soil, without its taproot). Trouble, yes, but with copious amounts of water, a healthy will towards life, and supporting caretakers, not permanent.

Example 1.

(DISCLAIMER:  this following does not refer to any specific event or person in my own family – I have a larger scope here.  So, B, S, A, G, D, F, J, L, P, M, C – if you take any of this personally, I will personally come and ply you with bad jokes. no mercy.)

I might believe everything is a-okay with my family, no need to check in. In fact, I can actually feel them close by (in a non-corporeal sense), supporting me through these troubled, stressful times – thank god my family has always been so good at intuitive mutual support.  I can, without question, ALWAYS count on them to understand.

But Family feels Differently.  They feel that they’ve become less important than my Work.  In fact they have not been sending me fair speechless (supportive) messages, rather there is deep resentment brewing, and siblings,  parents, cousins, aunts, uncles and in-laws have been sharing & comparing their lists of my failures and inadequacies for months and months – years, in fact, if you really examine history.

That’s when I finally show up for dinner, expecting hugs & congratulations.

Ah but Family can be cruel, hey?  However, situations such as this can be resolved, given some willingness to let go of the ‘victim/perpetrator’ model of relationship, to rediscover the idea of tolerance, and re-affirm one’s own sense of humility. As the gap in belief narrows, mutual support increases, and wounds are healed.

how appropriate - the bleeding heart. I must say though, that the flowers so named are incredible to look at - orchid-like.

Example 2.

I fall crashing into love.  Cannot imagine who I was before I was hit with this person’s beauty, wit, wisdom, kindness & my own level of inspiration by same.  My entire life is forever changed, and I never want this exquisite,  joyful pain to end.  I make plans & take action to ensure that it won’t.

The trouble is, it’s not reciprocal.  Also and in fact, said object of worship is sadly unworthy, in the light of day.  Has bad breath, is mentally & emotionally undisciplined, doesn’t like hockey or classical music or books, and tends to be the room’s top ‘drag’ on the collective energies.  Folds his kleenex when blowing his nose (urrgh).  Too bad we got married?

Or perhaps, let’s tear up this contract that we both thought meant something different, and re-write it.

Spurge, exhibiting great uniformity of purpose.

Example 3.

I might develop a belief, over many years at the same job, that I have earned the right to self-determination.  I know that my bosses and the bosses that rule them are benevolent, that they value my presence, my competence and my experience as indispensable to the business we are in together.  Operations run so smoothly here that there’s hardly any need for communication – I am fully empowered to do first and explain later.  Thank god for this long leash, although I know I’ve earned it, these past three decades.  Life is good.

…until I get called into head office, with a recommendation that I bring my union rep with me.  Maybe I shouldn’t have shortened my work week by a day without permission.  Big oops Trouble.

Perhaps this is what good union reps are for – to build bridges over gaping canyons between beliefs, like the one above?  Should folk such as these be trained & ordained as priests from the New Church of Re-claimed Humility?

Happy transplanted Rowan tree

In closing:

Oh astonishing we (humans) –  surprising, wicked, warm and impossibly, perpetually bound for trouble.

It’s all okay.  I can take the trouble I make on the chin, with a (humble) chuckle, I think.

In the meantime, the trees grow and the flowers bloom and the bees get the job done.