There's No Such Thing as "Normal..." Anymore...

As I look outside my window, I see another sunny spring day, here in Western Washington state. Clear blue skies, the forsythia is in bloom, a few daffodils here and there.

It all looks very "normal."

But there's nothing normal about the world.


Later today, I will head into town to see if I can secure a few groceries. That sounds "normal" enough... except I just used the word "secure," and I recognize that such a simple thing as going to the supermarket has taken on a subtext of actual danger, at least in a limited sort of way.

Upstairs, Mrs. Denmarkguy has turned her sewing skills to making protective face masks, in response to a regional hospital's appeal. They are in desperate need of any kind of protection for all their "secondary staff" (orderlies, janitors, cafeteria workers) who don't have direct patient contact, yet work in a high risk area.

When made according to specifications, these masks can be 70-80% effective, which is a LOT better than "having nothing at all."


During my morning meditation, it came to me that even though the world around us has become a frightening place in some way, I'm not afraid of dying... and I actually never have been.

What I'm "afraid" of is those near me whom I love and care about both suffering and dying. That has also been true of most of my life.

I fear loss far more than death itself.

And yet? Although I adhere to no particular branch of spirituality or religion, I am generally aligned most with the Buddhist tenets of "impermanence" and "non-attachment."

Life is a funny place, though... I have often been "taken to task" for not running around in a state of frazzled panic during times of crisis; those around me asserting that I just don't care.

Which is not true, at all.

The way I see it, there are things we can control, and things we cannot control. In the vast majority of cases, we cannot control what life serves up for us, but we can control how we respond to it.

And maybe that's the important thing here...


When we run around in a state of freaked-out panic, we're actually not responding, we're reacting.

Don't get me wrong, "reactions" are a fine thing when you need to get your hand off a hot stove, or you need to duck because a swinging I-beam is targeting your head... but not so much when a situation is best served by a measured response.

And so, I will head into town to get to the supermarket, taking reasonable precautions while choosing to not freak out about it.

Meanwhile, stay safe and healthy, wherever you are!

Thanks for reading!

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Created at 20200321 10:46 PDT


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