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"Notes" #17

The Year That Wasn't!

Do you realize it is the middle of August? Where has this year gone? COVID-19 has robbed us of the last five months and probably many more months to come. All gone! No rich new experiences, no travel to visit relatives, no exploring new restaurants, sports are a hodgepodge, no theatre, symphony or late-night jazz, no breakfast with my friends. On the other hand we have saved a great deal of money (big deal), not doing these things that really make life worth living.

I don't have COVID-19 and neither does anyone in my family, my mortgage is paid off (the trade-off is I am old), I can afford "take-out" every once in a while, I can still break 90 on a golf course, and the new red bricks the mason replaced in my house are almost a match- what more could a person want out of life?

Yes COVID-19 you have taken a chunk of time out of my life. However, for me, it has only been an inconvenience, for some in my community it has been a threat to their very way of life both physically (front-line workers) and financial. It has also brought great suffering as many have not been able to see their senior loved ones in care homes, hospitals and to practice rituals at their passing.

I feel I have had it good despite the pandemic but even I am growing weary of the worry of getting sick and the changes that COVID-19 has wrought upon us and our world.


                "Pandemic" by Lynn Ungar
What if you thought of it as the Jews consider the Sabbath-the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those to whom you commit your life.
Centre down.
And when your body has become still, reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives are in one another's hands. (Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love--for better or for worse, in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.


Two Reader's response to "Notes" #14--Trip to Cuba

    1.  I lived for a few years in the Dominican Republic.  There is the same problem with toilet paper clogging the pipes, so one puts used toilet paper in a waste paper basket beside the toilet, which, obviously, needs to be emptied pretty regularly.

    2.  The term "communism" actually refers, per Marx, to a system where everything is owned in common and the state has "withered away".  Whether that is a good idea or not - I'll not enter into that debate.  "Socialism" means gov't ownership of the whole economy.  The term "socialism" as used in the west really refers to social democracy, which is an overlay of social principles (social safety net, access to education, controls on capitalism) onto a capitalist system.       Edward R

Buena Vista Social Club, not Bona, Dan. (I majored in Spanish)
By the way, if you haven't seen the video on that group, before most of them died. Ibrahim has some comments on why he loved Cuba so much and why he remained loyal. He did not consider himself poor even though he lived in a shack.         Merika S


Have a great week!